A recent study by a group of researchers has explored silent covert strokes that are more frequent than overt strokes in people aged around 65 and have undergone surgery. Their research and analysis were published in the journal, ‘The Lancet’. While an overt stroke results in symptoms such as weakness in one arm or speech issues that continue for more than a day, a covert stroke is not very evident except on brain scans, such as MRI.
The researchers told that every year, close to 0.5 percent of the 50 million people aged 65 years or older globally who have major, non-cardiac surgery will experience an overt stroke, but until now very little was known about the incidence or effects of silent stroke after surgery.
Dr. PJ Devereaux, co-principal investigator of the NeuroVISION study told, “We’ve observed that ‘silent’ covert strokes are in fact more common than overt strokes in people aged 65 or older who have undergone surgery.”
The lead investigator along with his group found that every one in 14 people over age 65 who had elective, non-cardiac surgery had a silent stroke. This effectively suggests that as many as three million people in this age category worldwide suffer a covert stroke after surgery each year.
In order to understand the study well, the researchers at NeuroVISION involved 1,114 patients aged 65 years and older from 12 different facilities in North and South America, Asia, New Zealand, and Europe. All patients had an MRI within nine days of their surgery to look for image conclusions of silent stroke.
The study team analyzed patients for one year post their surgery to have their cognitive capabilities assessed. They saw that individuals who had a silent stroke after the medical procedure had the expanded odds of encountering psychological decay, perioperative incoherence, plain stroke or transient ischaemic assault inside one year when contrasted with the patients who did not endure a silent stroke.
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