Silent strokes more common than thought; and a major cause of dementia

July 9, 2014

Dr. Antoine Hakim has published a perspective piece in the prestigious journal Nature concerning “covert” or “silent” strokes that occur in people without producing the usual signs and symptoms of an overt stroke. As part of a special edition of Nature that focuses on the science of strokes, Dr. Hakim's article argues that covert strokes are more widespread than commonly thought and is a major cause of dementia. Dr. Hakim states that anywhere from 8 per cent to 28 per cent of the population have had a covert stroke, and that their incidence rises with age and vascular risk factors. Because the brain is more sensitive than the heart to high blood pressure, obesity and sedentary behaviour, Dr. Hakim makes the case that people should adopt healthier eating habits and a more active lifestyle. Read the article.

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