If this piece of information is to be believed, then memory problems are linked with the chances of experiencing a stroke. According to a groundbreaking study, individuals diagnosed with memory problems or other declines in their mental abilities are at a higher threat of undergoing a stroke. It was suggested that laying hands on the means to avoid stroke can aid a wide number of people.

As a part of the study, people aged 45 and above without a history of stroke were subjected to a series of tests. They were contacted twice a year by phone for finding out whether they had suffered a stroke. All the participants belonged to an average age group of 67 years. Incidences of stroke were confirmed by medical records. While 14,842 people underwent a verbal fluency test for gauging the brain’s executive functioning skills, 17,851 people took a word recall memory test. 123 subjects in the verbal fluency test and 129 participants who gave the memory test reportedly experienced a stroke.

“Finding ways to prevent stroke and identify people at risk for stroke are important public health problems,” said study author Abraham J. Letter of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “This study shows we might get a better idea of who is at high risk of stroke by including a couple simple tests when we are evaluating people who already have some stroke risk.”

Participants who scored in the bottom 20 percent for verbal fluency possibly were 3.6 times more likely to develop a stroke than those who scored in the top 20 percent. In the memory test, those who scored in the bottom 20 percent presumably were 3.5 times more likely to have a stroke than volunteers in the top 20 percent. The variation in stroke incidence rates between those with the bottom and top 20 percent of scores appeared 3.3 strokes per thousand person-years. Among those aged 50, scoring in the bottom 20 percent of the memory test supposedly indicated a 9.4 times higher threat of facing stroke in later life than subjects in the top 20 percent.

The study findings will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 63rd Annual Meeting in Honolulu April 9 to April 16, 2011.