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More Rapid Memory Decline in Those With Stroke History

Decline strongest in men and in those without APOE e4 allele

TUESDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- Memory and abstract/visuospatial performance decline more rapidly in elderly patients with a history of stroke than in their same-age peers who have not had a stroke, according to a study in the April issue of Archives of Neurology.

Christiane Reitz, M.D., and colleagues at Columbia University in New York administered a series of neurophysiological tests over five years to 1,271 elderly patients without dementia or cognitive decline. At the beginning of the study, 7.6 percent of patients had a history of stroke.

Memory declined over time for all the participants, but there was a more rapid memory decline in patients with a history of stroke. The association was strongest in men and in those without an APOE e4 allele. While there was no link observed between stroke and a drop in abstract/visuospatial or language performance overall, there was a significant association between stroke and decline in abstract/visuospatial performance for those without the APOE e4 allele.

"A history of stroke is related to a progressive decline in memory and abstract/visuospatial performance, especially among men and those without an APOE e4 allele," Reitz and colleagues concluded.

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