Alzheimer’s and Stroke Connection

Alzheimer'sThere is increasing evidence of a connection between Alzheimer’s and Strokes. More and more people are being diagnosed with these damaging diseases. It is notable on Alzheimer’s Toronto that one in eleven Canadians over the age of 65 have dementia and women make up three-quarters of the total number of Alzheimer’s patients in Canada. An increasing number of studies are being conducted in order to curtail the effects of this devastating disease. There are studies on early detection, all sorts of drugs that can reduce symptoms, vaccines that cure, women vs men, and the list goes on. One study of interest is about the connection between Alzheimer’s and strokes.

Apparently, people who have silent strokes are likely to become impaired cognitively and to have strokes in the future. According to The Globe and Mail, silent strokes are present in about 28 % of people over 65, making them more than 10 times as common as a more obvious stroke. The Globe and Mail quotes Dr. Black saying that indeed Alzheimer’s disease is a key cause of hemorrhagic stroke. Amaloid build-up is becoming the main culprit behind brain hemorrhage in elderly people. In July 2013 when the article was published, she was conducting intervention studies on the link between the two. It seems that Alzheimer’s disease causes strokes but strokes also forecast a worsening of Alzheimer’s symptoms; thus, the two are intimately related.

Dr. Black and her team are conducting studies on stroke and dementia patients. She says that her role in The Heart and Stroke Foundation Center for Stroke Recovery is providing leadership in brain imaging and analyzing the physical and cognitive aspects of recovery. They are also investigating new ways to use infusion therapies with antibodies which will be discussed more later on.

Alzheimer’s and Stroke Connection. According to Alzheimers.org.uk when patients have something called vascular dementia (caused by a series of small strokes or a larger stroke), brain cells die of oxygen deprivation. This occurs in certain areas of the brain, leaving others unaffected. It is difficult to tell whether people have vascular dementia or Alzheimer’s. Furthermore, it is not unusual to have a mixed form. Each person experiences dementia in a different way. Usually, people with vascular dementia live for around five years after symptoms begin. In many cases, the person’s death will be caused by a stroke or heart attack.

However, there is good news for those that are prone to the disease as researchers aggressively seek a cure. Currently hundreds of clinical trials are occurring across the US and many more in other countries. Mayo Clinic’s website states that the most current studies are focusing on immunization or giving antibodies to combat beta-amyloid instead of enhancing the person’s immune system. One significant research effort is exploring the IV infusions of a product derived from donated blood. This product contains natural anti-amyloid antibodies from the donors. Other studies are investigating engineered antibodies.

Alzheimer’s and Stroke Connection. As researchers focus their attention on curing this disease and understanding its connection to strokes, the world can breathe a tiny sigh of relief and rest knowing that good people are conducting relevant and well-organized studies that will hopefully one day eliminate these terrible conditions.

By: Nicole Drawc

Sources:
Science Daily
The Globe and Mail
Alzheimer’s Toronto
Mayo Clinic
Alzheimer’s.org.uk  

One Response to "Alzheimer’s and Stroke Connection"

  1. gracen   March 29, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    great article Nicole. could there be hope on the horizon for even your mother, let’s pray that there is in time to make a difference for her.
    Gracen

    Reply

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