Mary is an accountant who suffered a minor stroke at the age of 64.  She sustained mild right arm and leg weakness that improved back to normal within 3 weeks.  On her follow up visit with her doctor 3 months later she complained of having difficulty conversing on the phone with her clients and being more forgetful than before.   A MRI of the brain at the time of her initial stroke showed evidence of multiple prior minor strokes in the brain which were silent.  In other words, she was not aware of these old strokes because they caused no obvious neurologic symptoms. She was told the most common cause of minor strokes was uncontrolled hypertension that damaged the small blood vessels of the brain over years.  Although she was diagnosed with having high blood pressure since her 40's, she decided to not  continue with her blood pressure medications when her blood pressure readings became normal at her doctor visits.  Mary is not unlike many of the stroke victims.  Hypertension is known as the "silent killer" because for many people the first symptom of high blood pressure is a catastrophic stroke, or heart attack.  Studies have shown that half of all patients on blood pressure medications are not compliant because side effects such as dizziness, nausea, diarrhea, and excessive sedation make them feel worse.  Even though most survivors of acute symptoms from a stroke will improve over time,  the long term cumulative effect of chronic strokes is cognitive impairment severe enough to lead to dementia later in life.  The best way to treat Mary is to prevent the strokes from happening in the first place.  This requires a personal knowledge of the risk factors that will lead to strokes during mid-life and working with your doctors to mitigate these risks to minimize the development of dementia later in life.  At Sunrock we provide  personalized risk assessments to help improve a meaningful collaboration between you, your caregivers, and your providers to mitigate your personal risks for cardiovascular and neurological diseases

The dementia survey helped me understand what I needed to do to stay healthy and minimize my chance of

living with dementia later in life“

Samantha Jones, Project Manager

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