Stroke Strikes Again with Dementia

Dementia following ischaemic stroke was linked to higher risk of having another stroke

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) When a patient suffers a stroke, he or she has a significant risk of having another one down the road. Knowing which symptoms can predict the second stroke can help docs and families prepare. 

A recent study discovered that people who developed dementia after having an ischemic stroke were at greater risk of having another stroke. Compared to those without dementia, stroke patients with dementia were about two times more likely to have another stroke.

The authors concluded that post-stroke dementia is a risk factor for future stroke. Knowing this risk may help doctors and patients prevent more strokes.

"Quit smoking to reduce your stroke risk."

Patients with post-stroke dementia may develop memory and thinking problems within a year after having a stroke.

Researchers led by Gerli Sibolt, MD, of the Department of Neurology at Helsinki University Central Hospital in Finland, wanted to know if having dementia after one stroke was related to the risk of having another stroke.

They enrolled 486 patients who had had an ischemic stroke and had been admitted to the Helsinki University Central Hospital. Ischemic stroke is a stroke caused by loss of blood flow to part of the brain.

Patients’ were interviewed about their dementia symptoms. A total of 115 patients in the study met criteria for dementia.

Participants were followed for up to 12 years.

Patients who had dementia after stroke were about two times more likely to have another stroke during the study period compared to patients who didn’t develop dementia.

The time between strokes was shorter for patients with dementia than for those without. For patients who had dementia, second strokes happened about seven years after the first. The time between strokes for patients without dementia was about nine years, on average.

The authors concluded that post-stroke dementia may be a risk factor for future ischemic stroke. They suggested that knowing the risk may help doctors and patients better plan for and work to avoid future strokes.

This study was published February 16 in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry. The study was funded by the Clinical Research Institute, Helsinki University Central Hospital, and the Medical Research Fund of Helsinki University Central Hospital. The authors report no competing interests.

Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
February 21, 2013
Last Updated:
February 23, 2013