Stroke and dementia are fears we all face, especially in older age. The thought of encountering both in a lifetime is unsettling to say the least. And yet a new report finds that the combo is more common than we ever realized.
There are nearly 8 million new cases of dementia every year, but despite its prevalence, the cause has largely eluded medical science… until now.
A new study by the Krembil Neuroscience Centre in Toronto concludes that a common kind of dementia is actually caused by numerous, imperceptible strokes that occur over the course of time.
That might not sound like good news — “stroke” never does — but in terms of prevention, it might be.
Dementia is so cruel precisely because it is so unrelenting and untreatable. But prevention might be possible now that we know that tiny strokes may be to blame.
If doctors can detect that kind of vascular activity early on, even before any symptoms show up, they may be able to head off dementia using the same course of preventative action that they currently prescribe to potentially stroke-prone patients.
It’s an encouraging peek into what the next few years of medical science could mean for America’s elderly, not to mention a good reason to take vascular health seriously now.