Twenty-nine patients with carotid stenosis (narrowing of the artery in the neck) underwent carotid artery stenting, in which the narrowed a fiery is expanded with a balloon and a metal tube known as a stent. All patients were given neuropsychological tests 24 hours before and 48 hours afterward.

Result: Cognitive function (as measured by the speed with which participants connected numbers) increased by nearly 6% after stenting.

Theory: Stenting increases blood flow to the brain, which improves cognitive function. This finding contradicts previous studies suggesting that stenting may cause a slight decrease in cognitive function. More research is under way.

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