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B. Advancing the Clinical Diagnosis of Memory Loss

Narrator: This is Science Today. Small strokes in the tiny blood vessels in the brain become increasingly common as people get older. Dr. Bruce Reed of the University of California, Davis Alzheimer's Disease Center says there's been question about the effects of these small strokes for years.

Reed: One of the reasons for that is that a lot of people seem to be walking around with these strokes and you don't really notice any effect. And on the other hand, some people have these strokes and they really do have pretty severe memory loss. So the question is - why do they have the memory loss? Is the stroke causing the memory loss? Did they also have Alzheimer's Disease? What's going on here? And so that's been very unclear.

Narrator: Reed and his colleagues have found for the first time, distinguishable differences between the memory loss in patients with small strokes and those with Alzheimer's Disease.

Reed: This sort of study really does help us understand a little bit better what the clinical differences are. It's a subtle thing, but the memory loss that's associated with these small strokes really does have a different flavor than the memory loss of Alzheimer's Disease.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.