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Editorial
July 7, 2015

Stroke and Cognitive Decline

Author Affiliations
  • 1Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, Grand Rapids
  • 2Mercy Health Hauenstein Neurosciences, Grand Rapids, Michigan
JAMA. 2015;314(1):29-30. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.7149

Stroke and cognitive impairment are common among older persons.1 It is estimated that the lifetime risk for stroke is approximately 1 in 5 for women and 1 in 6 for men,2 and almost one-third of persons with stroke, which typically may involve motor, sensory, or other deficits, may have a significant degree of cognitive impairment within several months of the event.1 Furthermore, silent strokes are more common than clinically manifest stroke events but pose significant danger because they are harbingers of both future stroke and cognitive dysfunction.3 It is estimated that as many as 1 in 10 adults experience a silent stroke by their early 60s.3,4 Stroke and loss of cognitive vitality remain a substantial challenge, as there is a need to better understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying cognitive impairment, course, and phenotypic manifestations of cognitive decline as well as the means to prevent this potentially devastating complication.

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