A UC Irvine study has suggested that brain bleeding occurs commonly among older individuals.
"In this study, deep regions of the brain were closely examined under a microscope, and nearly all subjects had evidence of small areas of bleeding," said Neurologist Dr. Mark Fisher.
Fisher, Kim and colleagues at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center studied postmortem brain specimens from 33 individuals, ranging in age from 71 to 105, with no history of stroke.
Cerebral microbleeds were identified in 22 cases - all occurring in capillaries, the small blood vessels of the brain.
"Drugs that interfere with platelets and blood clotting, such as aspirin, are known to be associated with microbleeds seen in brain imaging studies," Fisher said.
The areas of bleeding found in the study were very small and certainly not life-threatening, Fisher said. How they might affect intellectual and neurological function is a subject for further exploration.
Results appear online in the journal Stroke.