Brain Bleeding Common With Age, Study Shows

More than 65 percent of people over 70 years old have brain bleeding

Brain bleeding, in small amounts, has been shown to be a common occurrence in seniors, a UC Irvine study explains in the online journal Stroke.

According to doctors from UC Irvine, small bouts of micro-bleeding are fairly evident in the brain as it ages. And, these bleeds are not always related to stroke, blood pressure, or dementia related diseases.

Previous studies looked at brain imaging in attempts to find bleeding. This study, however, examines the brain in more depth using a microscope, and found almost every subject in the study to have at least small areas of brain bleeding.

For the study, postmortem brains were examined from 33 different individuals, between the ages of 71 and 105 years old. No history of stroke was present. Of the 33 analyzed, microbleeding was evident in 22 different cases. All bleeds were evident in smaller blood vessels inside the brain.

These figures appeared much higher than originally thought when examined using MRI scans. Using MRI scans, brain bleeds were found in about 20 percent of people between the ages of 60 and 70, and near 40 percent in individuals over the age of 80.

This study explains brain bleeds to be over 65 percent in individuals over the age of 70.

All instances of brain bleeding in this study were not noticed to be life-threatening, but potential additional symptoms would have to be examined in more depth.