OT Support Reduces Stroke Survivors’ Risk of Dementia
Recent research shows that one third of UK stroke sufferers will develop dementia in the future
The Stroke Association, the Alzheimer’s Society and the British Heart Foundation are coming together to invest £2.2million into the funding of research on the links between strokes and vascular dementia.
The Director of Research at the Alzheimer’s Society, Dr Doug Brown, explained: “Given the strong link between strokes and vascular dementia and with no treatments available, this investment will take us a step closer to ultimately preventing people from developing dementia after a stroke."
The charities are also hopeful that their investment will transform the lives of the 150,000 patients who are currently living with vascular dementia, as well as their loved ones. Whilst this research is underway, occupational therapists will play a key role in helping those who have suffered from stroke, adjust to life again; OT professionals are in a position to advise them on lifestyle changes which could reduce their risk of developing dementia. Although it is normal for people to suffer memory difficulties and loss after a stroke, OT’s can work closely alongside patients and their loved ones, helping them spot potential signs of dementia.
Unfortunately, the number of people with dementia is expected to rise to 350,000 by 2050, making the investigations into the link between stroke and dementia and potential prevention methods, all the more important.