White-Matter Disease

Previous research on strokes and white-matter disease has involved taking scans of participants' brains periodically over long stretches of time.


According to Mandell, evidence of mini-strokes disappears after just seven days. Scanning participants' brains weekly allowed researchers to identify the small strokes, and link them to the white-matter damage that directly followed them.

The research is still in its preliminary stages. Mandell says his team still doesn’t know for certain what causes the strokes in the first place. And since the study was comprised of so few people, larger and more in-depth studies need to be conducted in order to draw up more certain conclusions.

“The next step is to do a larger study with some sort of cognitive test to see if we can pick up in changes in cognition after the tiny strokes,” he says.

The research may also lead to strategies for treatment or prevention of Alzheimer's.

“Doctors know all about strokes,” Mandell says. “Now that we know that some, if not all, white matter damage is linked to these tiny little strokes,  our knowledge about stroke treatment can be applied to treating and preventing dementia.”

He says controlling blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol are all good steps.

Regular excercise, a balanced diet, and quitting smoking are also healthy habits that have been proven to reduce the risk of bigger strokes in adults.

Mandell's study was published late October, 2014, in the Annals of Neurology

Continue Reading Page 1 Page 2

About the author

Megan Jones

Read All Articles by Megan Read More Read Less

You might also enjoy:

Discovery: A genetic variant could delay Alzheimer's

The Quebec discovery of a genetic variant suggests it provides significant protection against Alzheimer's…

How to Stop and Reverse Brain Decline

We are designed to be smart people our entire lives. The brain is suppose to work well until our last…

Do Anti-Depressants Also Serve As Anti-Alzheimer's Drugs?

There is more and more evidence that has found a link between depression and Alzheimer’s disease.…

Too late to train new geriatric specialists?

With the Baby Boomer cohort living longer, are there enough geriatric specialists to go around? Canada…

comments powered by Disqus