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Bleeding stroke associated with onset of dementia

Bleeding within the brain, or intracerebral hemorrhage, was associated with a high risk of developing dementia post stroke, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2016.

Intracerebral hemorrhage, which results from a weakened vessel that ruptures and bleeds into the brain, represents 13 percent of all strokes. Researchers studied how often and why dementia might occur after intracerebral hemorrhage by following a population of 218 intracerebral stroke patients, who were free of dementia in the first six months after stroke.

They found:

  • 20 percent had developed dementia at one year after stroke.
  • 63 patients developed new onset dementia during an average follow-up of 5.4 years.
  • Risk factors associated with a higher risk of dementia after intracerebral hemorrhage, included the location of the brain bleed, older age, history of a previous stroke or transient ischemic attack, higher stroke severity score and recurrent stroke during the follow-up.
  • Risk factors identified on brain imaging were particularly linked with a very frequent cause of bleeding strokes called cerebral amyloid angiopathy.

Doctors caring for stroke survivors should consider dementia risks, especially when risk factors are present, researchers said.