Memory lapses in well-educated may signal stroke risk

Students of colleges and universities who have memory problems can be at the peak of risk of a stroke, research from the Netherlands.

What is Stroke?

Stroke is a brain illness that causes sudden death of cells in the brain due to lack of oxygen, which blocks flow of blood or rupture of an artery to the brain. Weakness, Sudden loss of speech, or paralysis of one side of the body is one of the symptoms of stroke.

One of the study showed that, people with higher level education are 39% at greater risk of stroke than those with a lower level of education the reason is that their early defenses against cognitive decline have been eroded. Moreover the study explored that more than 9,000 people were tracked over 20 years in Rotterdam.

A questionnaire was prepared and people were asked if they had memory issue. These people were healthy and were about 55 years old and some were over 55.
Strokes had occurred among the study group by 2012.

Researchers from Erasmus University Rotterdam analyzed from the outcomes of their research and they explored people who had earlier complained of memory lapses, the risk of stroke was increased in them.

However, higher vocational education defined that participants with higher level of education were at higher risk of stroke.

Cognitive reserve

An associate professor of neuroepidemiology at Erasmus University named Arfan Ikram said; “education was a good indicator of the brain's ability to fight against cognitive damage, such as dementia.”

Moreover, he added; “In people with a high level of education, it takes longer for the brain to be damaged and for dementia to occur. But if these people start complaining about their memory, then the mechanism is gone. This can be an indicator they have reached an advanced stage, when the cognitive reserve is not compensating anymore."

Cognitive reserve is the ability that is built up during young age specially childhood or adulthood. This ability is considered to protect against damage to the brain.

Usually stroke occurs when a blood vessel and nutrients becomes blocked by bursts or a clot because these blood vessel carries oxygen to the brain.

Further adding, Prof Ikram said that people should begin early to maintain brain health in later life. Because in the fight against stroke and dementia this is something which is as much important as physical health is important.