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Small Strokes; Big Impact

New research performed at the University of California in San Diego found that even the smallest of strokes can have significant damage on the brain, while possibly causing dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. However, a drug may be able to stave off the illness and keep cognitive function intact.

The researchers analyzed the behavior of rats and looked to see if the damage done by small vessel clots in the brain affected their behavior while also causing dementia or Alzheimer’s. They found similar holes in the brains of rats and that of humans with the cognitive-impairing disease. The study authors also found that when the rats were administered the FDA-approved drug memantine, which is prescribed to slow memory decline, got rid of the effects of the small stroke on cognitive function.

There are currently more than 5 million Americans who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. This study, and others like it, are trying to develop a clear treatment plan, so the elders who receive home care will receive effective treatments.

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