TUESDAY, July 7, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Stroke victims often experience an immediate deterioration in their ability to think and reason. But a new study shows that a stroke also can have a more insidious, long-term effect on your mental processes.
People who suffer a stroke are more likely to experience an accelerated decline in their thinking and planning skills for at least six years following their medical emergency, according to a report published July 7 in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
For every year following a stroke, patients have a 23 percent greater risk of suffering additional mental loss, compared to how they would have fared if they never had a stroke, said lead author Dr. Deborah Levine, an assistant professor at the University of Michigan Medical School and a staff physician with the Ann Arbor VA Healthcare System.
“We found that stroke survivors had a significantly faster rate of developing new cognitive [thinking] impairment following their stroke, compared to their pre-stroke rates,” Levine said.