Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Stroke and the aging brain

Photo by Allan Ajifo via Flickr
I'm a runner and occasionally refer to the book "Running Until You're 100" by Jeff Galloway.

But that sort of assumes I'll be around and can find my way around a running course at that age. That might be a challenge - one recent study suggests that a stroke ages a brain by eight years:
University of Michigan researchers analyzed national data from more than 4,900 black and white Americans aged 65 and older who underwent tests of memory and thinking speed between 1998 and 2012.
Test results among those who suffered a stroke fell as much as if they had suddenly aged 7.9 years, according to the study in the July issue of the journal Stroke.
Stroke had a similar effect on brain function in both blacks and whites in the study. But previous research has found that rates of memory and thinking problems in older blacks are generally twice that of whites.
These new findings show that stroke doesn't account for that racial disparity as people age, and also highlight the importance of stroke prevention, the researchers said.
Now, I wouldn't take this as a guarantee that each stroke effects every individual exactly the same way. But I would take this as another argument that stroke prevention - read more about it here - is important.

Especially if you want to do anything until you're 100. Personally, I plan to hit the running trail at 101 but will take it one day at a time.

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