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Many experience accelerated cognitive decline following a stroke

July 8, 2015
by Megan Combs, Associate Editor
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Stroke victims may experience cognitive changes in the first few weeks following the event, but a new study has found that cognitive decline can persist for years after.

The study, published in JAMA, followed stroke survivors for six years and tracked their cognitive changes. Many survivors experienced accelerated and persistent cognitive decline in those six years, the study reports. Survivors experienced an acute decline in global cognition, new learning and verbal memory.

"Given that poststroke cognitive impairment increases mortality, morbidity and healthcare costs, health systems and payers will need to develop cost-effective systems of care that will best manage the long-term needs and cognitive problems of this increasing and vulnerable stroke survivor population," researchers wrote.

Study author Dr. Deborah Levine, of the University of Michigan Medical School and Ann Arbor VA Health System, told Medical News Today: "We have known that stroke is associated with cognitive decline over the short term. We did not know whether stroke is associated with declines in thinking speed and memory over the years after the event."

Read the JAMA study here.

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