Study: Calcified plaques in key arteries linked to strokes, dementia

Share this article:

Calcified plaque buildup in key areas of the body's circulatory system — outside of the brain — could contribute to increased risk for stroke and dementia, new study results assert.

In studying CT scans of 885 people with an average age of 67, investigators from the Netherlands looked for signs of calcification in the coronary arteries, the aortic arch, and the extracranial and intracranial carotid arteries. They also checked MRI scans of study subjects to look for signs of stroke, brain bleeds and white matter lesions, according to the study.

They found that calcium buildup in those four critical arterial areas was associated with white matter lesions and evidence of small strokes.

"These subclinical brain changes, apparent on MRI, do not necessarily cause symptoms right away but are frequently seen in patients with stroke or dementia and over the long term may be associated with worse cognitive performance," said study author Meike W. Vernooij, M.D., Ph.D.

The study was published Aug. 25 in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology.

Share this article:

More in News

Bulk of Medicaid to be managed care in two years: Avalere

Bulk of Medicaid to be managed care in ...

More than three-quarters of Medicaid beneficiaries will be enrolled in a managed care plan as of 2016, according to an Avalere Health analysis released Thursday. The numbers reveal that managed ...

Nursing home asked for employee's personal information too often, jury rules

The human resources department of a Maine nursing home did not properly protect a former employee's personal identification information, a jury recently ruled.

Test could confirm sepsis within an hour

Nursing home residents might benefit from a new way of diagnosing and treating sepsis made possible by discoveries out of the University of British Columbia.