Thinking test after stroke could predict memory skills years later

17 October 2018

German scientists have found that people who perform poorly on a specific thinking test within a week of having a stroke have reduced memory and thinking skills for up to three years following the event. The findings are published today (17 October) in the scientific journal, Neurology.

Dr Sara Imarisio, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“While this study did not look at people with dementia, having a stroke is a major risk factor for developing the condition and memory and thinking decline more generally. This study suggests that people’s memory and thinking immediately after a stroke could predict longer term impairment, but it’s unlikely that a single test would capture everyone at risk of long-term memory problems.

“Vascular dementia is the second most common form of dementia and can develop following a stroke so understanding the early process of its development is important. Finding better ways to identify people most at risk of memory and thinking problems will help researchers to develop and deliver effective interventions to maintain cognitive health for as long as possible.

“There is now a wealth of evidence that suggests what’s good for our heart is also good for our brain. Maintaining good vascular health is one of the key things people can do to keep their brain healthy as they age, while also reducing the risk of stroke.”