Stroke can double the risk of dementia, study says

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There are several factors that increase dementia risk. However, stroke sufferers have an even higher chance of developing it, according to the report. 

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Researchers from the University of Exeter recently conducted a study, published in Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association, to explore the link between memory loss and stroke.

To do so, they reviewed 48 previous trials that examined nearly 2 million people with a history of stroke.

After analyzing the results, they found that stroke patients were more likely to be diagnosed with dementia. In fact, history of stroke upped the risk by 70 percent and doubled the possibility for those who had suffered from a stroke recently.

"Given how common both stroke and dementia are, this strong link is an important finding. Improvements in stroke prevention and post-stroke care may therefore play a key role in dementia prevention," coauthor Ilianna Lourida said in a statement.

While the scientists do not fully understand why there is an association between the two health conditions, they believe stroke characteristics, such as brain damage, could be a component.

They noted that most people who have a stroke do not go on to develop the disorder. They also hope to further investigate the relationship between the two health conditions.

"Around a third of dementia cases are thought to be potentially preventable, though this estimate does not take into account the risk associated with stroke," coauthor David Llewellyn added. "Our findings indicate that this figure could be even higher, and reinforce the importance of protecting the blood supply to the brain when attempting to reduce the global burden of dementia."

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