Implementing the proclamation of stroke and potentially preventable dementias
Journal of Clinical Hypertension
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Brain health plays a central role in well-being and in the management of chronic diseases. Stroke and dementia pose the two greatest threats to brain health, but recent developments suggest the possibility that preventing stroke may also prevent some dementias: (a) A large population study showed a 32% decrease in the incidence of stroke and a concomitant 7% reduction in the incidence of dementia; (b) the treatment of atrial fibrillation resulted not only in stroke reduction, but also a 48% decrease in dementia; (c) the hypothesis-free analyses have shown that the first phase of Alzheimer disease involves vascular dysregulation, opening the door to new therapeutic approaches; (d) cognitive impairment, often treatable and reversible, accompanies heart and kidney failure. These developments, combined with the knowledge that stroke, dementia, and heart disease share the same major treatable risk factors, particularly hypertension, offer an opportunity for their joint prevention. This aspiration is expressed by a Proclamation of the World Stroke Organization on Stroke and Potentially Preventable Dementias and endorsed by the World Heart Federation, the World Hypertension League, Alzheimer Disease International, and 18 other international, regional, and national organizations as a call for action.