Thrombolysis safe in stroke patients with dementia

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Stroke patients with dementia, who are treated with intravenous thrombolysis (IVT) are at no higher risk of brain haemorrhage or death than other patients receiving the same treatment.

That’s according to findings from a new study published in Neurology, which compared access to IVT for acute ischaemic stroke (AIS) and its outcomes in patients with and without dementia.

Scientists examined data from 1,356 patients with pre-existing dementia who had AIS between 2010 and 2014, and 6,755 matched patients without dementia. They found people under the age of 80 with dementia and stroke were not given IVT as often as patients with stroke but no dementia. However, dementia patients over 80 who suffered a stroke received thrombolysis as often as non-dementia patients with stroke.

Among patients receiving thrombolysis, there were no differences in symptomatic intracerebral haemorrhage or death, although patients with dementia had worse accommodation and functional outcomes at three months.

“Our study indicates that thrombolysis treatment is just as safe for dementia patients as for other patients with the same physical status and that the risk of treatment complications is no higher,” said Professor Maria Eriksdotter. “Thus, IVT treatment can be considered in stroke patients with dementia.”