Knowing Stroke Signs Saves Lives

2009-07-09 13:37

Knowing and responding immediately to the warning signs of stroke can significantly improve the odds of survival and recovery.

To help Nova Scotians recognize such potentially life-saving cues, the province, Heart and Stroke Foundation of Nova Scotia, and Cardiovascular Health Nova Scotia -- the provincial program responsible for improving care for heart disease and stroke -- have partnered on a 16-month awareness campaign.


Some Stroke Survivors' Function Declines Slowly

2009-06-26 13:10

Even when patients recover most functional ability in the first months after a blood-clot related stroke, they gradually become more dependent over the next five years – especially those with Medicaid or no private insurance – according to a large study reported in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.


Improving Lives Of Stroke, Spinal Cord Injury Patients

2009-06-18 10:29

Reporters are invited to meet the team that invented a revolutionary new system that improves the quality of life for people paralysed by stroke or spinal cord injury. Led by Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research Scientist Arthur Prochazka, PhD, the team will unveil its invention in the Heritage Medical Research Centre Laboratory.


Stroke Treatment Goals Easier To Achieve Than Heart Disease

2009-06-08 21:46

A majority of high-risk stroke patients are less likely to meet clinical treatment targets to prevent repeat stroke or heart attacks compared to those with heart disease, suggesting the need to examine new stroke treatment strategies, according to a study led by St. Michael's Hospital neurologist Dr. Gustavo Saposnik. What's more, medical procedures or ongoing specialty care may improve patients' awareness and consequent treatment success.

The study, an analysis of 4,933 outpatients with a past history of heart attack and cerebrovascular disease (stroke) across Canada, found:


Acute stroke focus may compromise general stroke care

2009-06-04 20:25

The focus on acute stroke in the UK government’s national stroke strategy may distract attention and resources from other important elements of stroke care, warn experts in a paper published on today.

In 2005, the National Audit Office (NAO) report on stroke services outlined improvements for reducing death, disability and recurrent stroke, along with costs. Its recommendations led to the publication of the national stroke strategy in 2007.


UK Stroke Prevention Surgeries Unacceptably Delaied

2009-06-04 20:23

Only one in five UK patients have surgery to reduce their risk of stroke within the two week target time set by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), finds a study published on today. The authors call for major improvements in services to enable early surgery to prevent strokes in high risk patients.

Every year in the UK, about 120,000 people have a transient ischaemic attack (TIA) or minor stroke and up to 30% die within a month. Stroke is also the single largest cause of severe disability in adults and costs the economy £7bn a year.


Half of Mini Strokes Lead to Major Stroke Within Hours

2009-06-01 18:42

New research has found that half of mini-strokes lead to major stroke within hours of onset of symptoms. A new study from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom highlights the importance of rapid treatment for signs of mini-stroke, also called a TIA (transient ischemic attack). Researchers viewed databases to find that half of mini strokes result in a major stroke within twenty-four hours.


Stroke: Clot-Busting Drug Window May Be Expanded

2009-05-29 12:20

Giving stroke patients a clot-busting drug within three hours of the start of symptoms is a long-established guideline, and recent research demonstrates that extending that treatment window by an hour-and-a-half could still benefit some patients, according to a new American Heart Association/American Stroke Association advisory.

The scientific advisory, published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association, reinforces immediately seeking and initiating care for a stroke because the opportunity to minimize brain damage is greater with earlier treatment.


Use of Clot Busting Drugs for Stroke Expanded

2009-05-28 21:16

Treating patients with stroke using clot-busting drugs provides better outcomes when the drugs are delivered sooner than later. However, the use of clot busting drugs more than three hours after a stroke has occurred has not been established as a therapeutic norm. Results of a new study shows that the use of clot busting drugs for stroke should be expanded beyond three hours, suggesting that guidelines for immediate treatment of stroke may need to be altered.


Stroke: Enzyme On White Blood Cell Surface Reduces Tissue Damage

2009-05-07 10:47

For decades, treating strokes has been based on quickly restoring blood flow, in hopes of minimizing damage to brain tissue. But patients rarely seek medical attention soon enough to be helped before the damage is done.

A new line of research shows the damage that occurs in the early hours after a blood clot has lodged in the brain can be blocked by an enzyme on the surface of white blood cells. These white blood cells are normally protective during emergencies such as cuts and infections, but their accumulation in the brain in stroke can be devastating.


Women Often Experience Non-Traditional Stroke

2009-05-06 11:13

The traditional stroke symptoms are well known and include a sudden onset of numbness or weakness on one side of the body, trouble talking, loss of vision, or coordination problems.

But in women, doctors and bystanders should be paying attention to something else, says Lynda Lisabeth, Ph.D., MPH, researcher in the Department of Neurology at the University of Michigan Health System.


Controlling Cholesterol, Blood Pressure Prevents Stroke

2009-05-04 14:58

Reaching optimal levels for cholesterol and high blood pressure in people who’ve had a stroke adds up to prevent a second stroke or heart attack, according to a study to be presented as part of the Late-breaking Science Program at the American Academy of Neurology’s 61st Annual Meeting in Seattle.

Researchers looked at four risk factors for stroke: high LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol, high triglycerides, and high blood pressure. They found that for each risk factor that is controlled at the optimal level, the risk of stroke and other major cardiovascular problems goes down.


Caring For Stroke Survivors Is Stressful, But Rewarding

2009-05-01 09:33

While caring for stroke survivors can be highly stressful for some families, many families feel little or no strain from caregiving, and even report that being a caregiver can be personally rewarding, according to research published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

In a study of 75 stroke caregivers:

• 90 percent reported that caregiving enabled them to appreciate life more;
• 44 percent reported “no strain;” and
• 41 percent reported “some strain.”


Finding In Early Stroke Detection To Help Preventing Disease

2009-04-29 08:41

Predictors of atrial fibrillation (AF or afib) might offer physicians a better way to prevent stroke in blacks, according to a new study done by researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

AF is an irregular and often rapid heart rate that commonly causes poor blood flow to the body, as well as symptoms of heart palpitations, shortness of breath and weakness. Despite low reported prevalence of AF – one of the major risk factors for stroke – in black patients, they suffer strokes five times more often than white patients and die from them two times more often.


Tips Stroke Patients Caregivers Should Know

2009-04-27 12:44

American Heart Association provides with 15 tips caregivers should know after a loved one has had a stroke.

1. It's better to find out than miss out. Be aware of the medications that have been prescribed to your loved one and their side effects. Ask if your home should be modified to meet the specific needs of the stroke survivor. Ask a doctor, nurse or therapist to clarify any unanswered questions or to provide written information that explains what occurs after the stroke and during recovery or rehabilitation.


May Is Stroke Awareness Month

2009-04-27 12:43

If your loved one suffers a stroke, you'll probably be left overwhelmed with countless questions.

What medications have been prescribed? What side effects should you watch for? Does your home need to be modified to meet the needs of the stroke survivor?

To help answer common questions, the American Stroke Association has released a list of 15 tips to help family members cope with their new role as stroke caregivers.

The list, created as part of American Stroke Month in May, runs the gamut from recovery expectations and therapy to resources and preventing secondary stroke.


New Genetic Variants Associated With Stroke Risk Identified

2009-04-16 13:02

Scientists have identified a previously unknown connection between two genetic variants and an increased risk of stroke, providing strong evidence for the existence of specific genes that help explain the genetic component of stroke. The research was funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health and by several other NIH institutes and centers.

The analysis of over 19,000 participants is published by the New England Journal of Medicine.


Screening To Prevent Stroke In Kids Increases

2009-04-14 12:59

The number of children with a certain blood disorder undergoing an ultrasound to help prevent stroke is up significantly in the past 10 years since the publication of a major study showing its benefits. However, limited access to labs that perform this type of screening appears to be a barrier to helping these children who are at a high risk of stroke.


Tai Chi Helps Stroke Victims Improve Balance

2009-03-23 20:12

Tai Chi can help stroke survivors increase balance, reducing fall risk, according to new findings from University of Illinois at Chicago researchers.

Past studies performed by Christina Hui-Chan, professor and head of physical therapy at UIC show that older persons benefit from Tai Chi for improving balance and coordination. Hui-Chan’s group found that Tai Chi could improve balance in individuals who have suffered stroke.


Preventing A Second Stroke

2009-03-10 12:56

Rush University Medical Center is participating in a National Institutes of Health (NIH) study to determine the best course of treatment to reduce the risk of stroke patients suffering another stroke. The study will determine if aggressive treatment of stroke victims for high blood pressure and cholesterol, along with placing a stent to widen a narrowed artery in a patient’s brain, is better than intensive medical therapy alone.


Testing Bedside Monitoring Of Brain Blood Flow, Metabolism In Stroke Victims

2009-03-06 06:33

A University of Pennsylvania team has completed the first successful demonstration of a noninvasive optical device to monitor cerebral blood flow in patients with acute stroke, a leading cause of disability and death.

The ultimate goal of this research is to improve the management of patients with stroke and other brain disorders by providing continuous bedside monitoring of brain blood flow and metabolism.


Ischemic Stroke Rate Increases Dramatically In Mid-40s

2009-03-02 13:43

Rates of the most common form of stroke begin to increase sharply after age 44, particularly in men, researchers reported in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

In a Finnish study of 1,008 ischemic stroke patients less than 50 years old, researchers also found:

• a high frequency of stroke risk factors in young patients;

• a high percentage of “silent” and multiple strokes;

• the pattern of stroke-causing events begins changing in midlife to resemble that of the elderly.


Stroke Drug Available In Hospitals Within 'Golden Hour'

2009-02-24 12:34

Patients who arrived at specific hospitals within an hour of experiencing stroke symptoms received a powerful clot-busting drug twice as often as those who arrived later in the approved time window for treatment, according to a new UCLA study presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2009.


People At High Stroke Risk Less Aware Of Its Signs

2009-02-23 09:31

People at the highest risk of having a stroke - the elderly and those who have had a previous stroke - are less likely to know the five warning signs of stroke, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2009.

Researchers also found that:

• People with lower income and less education are less aware of stroke symptoms than those who earn more money and are more educated.

• Women and whites were significantly more knowledgeable about stroke symptoms and more often knew to call 9-1-1 immediately.


Young Stroke Patients May Be Misdiagnosed In ER

2009-02-21 02:34

Young adults with stroke symptoms are sometimes misdiagnosed in emergency rooms — making them miss effective early treatment — according to research presented today at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2009.

In the Misdiagnosis of Acute Stroke in the Young During Initial Presentation in the Emergency Room study, researchers reviewed data on 57 patients, ages 16 to 50 years old, enrolled since 2001 in the Young Stroke Registry at the Comprehensive Stroke Center at Wayne State University in Detroit, Mich.


Robotic Therapy Reduces Stroke Physical Disability

2009-02-21 02:30

Robot-assisted therapy may help stroke patients attain gains in their physical abilities long after the stroke, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2009.

Improvement in this small, randomized study varied with the severity of a patient’s disability at the time of rehabilitation: the less disability at the start of the two-week therapy, the more gain in physical ability.


Stroke Rates Higher In Neighborhoods Full of Fast Food Restaurants

2009-02-19 22:39

Research presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2009 suggests stroke incidence is higher in neighborhoods full of fast food restaurants.

The findings have lead researchers to recommend stroke prevention programs that target residents who live in areas where fast food restaurants are highly concentrated

According to an American Heart Association news release, "The association suggested that the risk of stroke in a neighborhood increased by 1 percent for every fast-food restaurant."


Young Stroke Patients Often Misdiagnosed

2009-02-19 14:02

Stroke is a diagnosis associated with old age. Stroke is the third leading cause of death and one of the top causes of disability in the United States.

Physicians know that strokes can occur at any age, but they sometimes make the mistake of thinking that stroke is a diagnosis of old age. Because of this, young adults who present to emergency rooms may be misdiagnosed.