Study reveals risk of Silent Strokes in older adults after surgery

Almost 3 million people over 65 years old might be experiencing silent strokes each year after surgery, says a recent study. Convert Strokes are only observable on a brain scan and are more common than Strokes which show any visible symptoms, Canadian researchers found.

What was found The scientists discovered that one in 14 post-operative patients had a silent stroke after surveying over 1,000 people from North and South America, Asia, New Zealand and Europe.

This might mean that about 3 million people older than 65 might be experiencing silent Strokes annually according to the study led by the Population Health Research Institute of Hamilton Health Sciences and McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

Dr PJ Devereaux, the co-principal investigator of the study, stated: “We’ve found that ‘silent’ covert strokes are actually more common than overt strokes in people aged 65 or older who have surgery.”

Each of the study participants received an MRI scan within 9 days after their surgery to look for evidence of Silent stroke. 7% of the patients had a covert stroke. The researchers then tracked the patients for a year post-surgery to observe their cognitive capabilities.

Post-stroke health effects

People who had a silent stroke after their surgery we are 13% more likely to present cognitive decline, delirium, overt stroke or a mini-stroke because of a temporary disruption of the brain’s blood supply.

Dr Brian Rowe, scientific director of the Institute of Circulatory and Respiratory Health, said: “The NeuroVISION Study provides important insights into the development of vascular brain injury after surgery, and adds to the mounting evidence of the importance of vascular health on cognitive decline.”

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