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Ischemic Stroke Blog

Related terms: Cerebrovascular Accident (CVA), Stroke, CVA, Cerebrovascular Accident, Stroke, ischemic

Stroke Often Missed in ERs, Study Finds

Posted 10 days ago by

MONDAY, April 7, 2014 – Early signs and symptoms of stroke are often missed by emergency department doctors, a new study finds. Every year, tens of thousands of Americans with symptoms such as dizziness or headache are misdiagnosed in the ER in the days or weeks before they suffer a stroke, according to the researchers. Women, minorities and those under age 45 are the most likely to be misdiagnosed, according to the study published online April 3 in the journal Diagnosis. "It's clear that ER physicians need to be more discerning and vigilant in ruling out stroke, even in younger people," study leader Dr. David Newman-Toker, an associate professor of neurology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, said in a Hopkins news release. "Although stroke is less common in [younger people], we need to be more attuned to the possibility, particularly when the presenting ... Read more

Related support groups: Ischemic Stroke

Stem Cells Show Promise for Stroke Recovery

Posted 10 days ago by

MONDAY, April 7, 2014 – In an early test, researchers report they've safely injected stem cells into the brains of 18 patients who had suffered strokes. And two of the patients showed significant improvement. All the patients saw some improvement in weakness or paralysis within six months of their procedures. Although three people developed complications related to the surgery, they all recovered. There were no adverse reactions to the transplanted stem cells themselves, the study authors said. What's more, the researchers said, two patients experienced dramatic recoveries almost immediately after the treatments. Those patients, who were both women, started to regain the ability to talk and walk the morning after their operations. In both cases, they were more than two years past their strokes, a point where doctors wouldn't have expected further recovery. The results have encouraged ... Read more

Related support groups: Ischemic Stroke

Insomnia May Raise Stroke Risk, Especially for Younger Adults

Posted 14 days ago by

THURSDAY, April 3, 2014 – People plagued with insomnia might have an increased risk of stroke, particularly if they are young adults, a new, large study from Taiwan suggests. Over the course of four years, researchers found that insomnia seemed to raise the likelihood that a person will be hospitalized due to stroke by 54 percent. That risk skyrocketed for people between the ages of 18 and 34, who were eight times more likely to suffer strokes if they had insomnia when compared to their peers who got good sleep, the study found. "We pay a lot of attention to high blood pressure, to obesity, to issues related to cholesterol. Those are known risk factors," said Dr. Demetrius Lopes, director of the Interventional Cerebrovascular Center at Rush University in Chicago and a spokesman for the American Heart Association. "But I think what is underrated is if you don't have a good sleep ... Read more

Related support groups: Insomnia, Ischemic Stroke

Stroke Risk Spikes Shortly After Shingles Episode: Study

Posted 14 days ago by

THURSDAY, April 3, 2014 – People with shingles face a significantly increased risk of stroke in the weeks following the first signs of the painful skin rash, new research suggests. Patients' overall stroke risk is highest in the first month after the onset of shingles, when they are 63 percent more likely to have a stroke, said study author Dr. Sinead Langan, a senior lecturer at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. The risk tapers off during the following five months, she added. Shingles patients also have a threefold increased risk of stroke if they develop the rash around one or both eyes, according to the report published online April 3 in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. However, the study also delivered some good news for people with shingles, Langan added. "We found that the risk of stroke was lower in people who were treated with antiviral medications ... Read more

Related support groups: Ischemic Stroke, Herpes Zoster

Stroke Survivors Deserve Team Care: Statement

Posted 27 Mar 2014 by

THURSDAY, March 27, 2014 – Palliative care that minimizes suffering and improves quality of life should be provided to patients who've survived a stroke, experts say. The care should be a team effort involving patients, families, stroke specialists and health care providers such as neurosurgeons, neurologists, primary care doctors, nurses and therapists, according to the new scientific statement from the American Heart Association (AHA) and American Stroke Association (ASA). "The majority of stroke patients need access to some form of palliative medicine," statement lead author Dr. Robert Holloway, chairman of the neurology department at the University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, N.Y., said in an AHA/ASA news release. "The stroke team and its members can manage many of the palliative care problems themselves. It encourages patient independence and informed choices," he ... Read more

Related support groups: Ischemic Stroke

Keeping Blood Pressure Low Halves Risk of Second Stroke: Study

Posted 27 Mar 2014 by

THURSDAY, March 27, 2014 – Controlling blood pressure after suffering a stroke can reduce the odds of having another stroke by more than half, a new study finds. But fewer than one-third of patients maintain a consistently low blood pressure more than 75 percent of the time, according to the two-year study. "This study showed that consistency of blood pressure control is an important factor influencing risk of another stroke, heart attack or death from vascular causes," said the study's lead researcher, Dr. Amytis Towfighi. Key lifestyle changes and at-home blood pressure monitoring might help these people avoid another stroke, said Towfighi, an assistant professor of neurology at the University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine. Blood pressure varies, Towfighi said, and getting a decent blood pressure reading at an occasional checkup might not be enough for your doctor ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Ischemic Stroke

Hobbies Important for Stroke-Victim Caregivers

Posted 20 Mar 2014 by

THURSDAY, March 20, 2014 – It's important for people who look after stroke survivors to continue their own hobbies and interests because it helps keep them happy, a new study finds. And that's good for the patient, too, the author says. The study included about 400 family members providing care at home for a loved one who suffered a stroke. Most of the caregivers were women (69 percent) and married to the patient (70 percent). The caregivers completed several questionnaires at the start of the study, and 80 of them did so again two years later. The happiest caregivers were those who kept doing their hobbies and activities, were older, and had better physical health. Also happier were caregivers who provided higher levels of care and cared for stroke survivors with less mental impairment, depression or memory problems. One surprising finding of the study, which appeared March 20 in the ... Read more

Related support groups: Ischemic Stroke

Partial Skull Removal May Save Older Patients' Lives After Massive Stroke

Posted 19 Mar 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, March 19, 2014 – Removing half the skull is a drastic step, but it's one that can save lives in people over 60 who've had a severe stroke, new research indicates. Unfortunately, even though the procedure – called hemicraniectomy – reduces pressure on a swelling brain, the surgery doesn't prevent disability caused by the stroke. "Hemicraniectomy in malignant middle cerebral artery stroke, which is proven lifesaving and prevents severe disabilities in patients under 60, remains lifesaving in elderly patients with malignant [stroke]. Seventy percent survive with surgery, only 30 percent without," said senior study author Dr. Werner Hacke. "Some of these older stroke survivors do have a severe disability, which may require help in most daily activities," added Hacke, a professor of neurology and chairman of the neurological center at the University of Heidelberg, in Germany. ... Read more

Related support groups: Ischemic Stroke

Most Women Don't Know Warning Signs of Stroke: Study

Posted 19 Mar 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, March 19, 2014 – Most women say they'd call 911 if they were experiencing a stroke, but many don't recognize the major warning signs of stroke, new research shows. The study authors surveyed more than 1,200 women in the United States to assess their understanding of stroke's warning signs. "We saw a high level of knowledge to call 911 when a stroke occurs," said study author Dr. Heidi Mochari-Greenberger, an associate research scientist of preventive cardiology at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City. Eighty-four percent of women know to dial for an ambulance if a stroke hits. But the good news stopped there, Mochari-Greenberger noted. Only 51 percent of the women knew that sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the face, arms or legs is a warning sign of a stroke. Less than half (44 percent) knew that speech difficulty is a stroke sign. Fewer than ... Read more

Related support groups: Ischemic Stroke

Mexican-Americans Fare Worse After Stroke, Study Finds

Posted 13 Mar 2014 by

THURSDAY, March 13, 2014 – Mexican-Americans have more trouble recovering from a stroke than white patients do, a new study finds. The researchers noted that Mexican-Americans are more likely to suffer a stroke than whites, but less likely to die from one. However, these new findings suggest that the lower risk of death means an increased risk of disability. The study looked at 513 stroke survivors in Texas. The average age was 65 among the 64 percent of patients who were Mexican-American, compared with an average age of 72 for white patients. Compared with whites, Mexican-Americans had worse physical and mental outcomes 90 days after stroke. This included areas such as language, thinking abilities, and being able to do normal daily activities such as walking, bathing, eating, dressing and using the toilet. Nearly one-third of Mexican-Americans had post-stroke dementia, according to ... Read more

Related support groups: Ischemic Stroke

Every Minute Matters With Clot-Busting Stroke Drug: Study

Posted 13 Mar 2014 by

THURSDAY, March 13, 2014 – Every 15-minute delay in receiving a clot-busting drug means stroke survivors will have about one month less of a disability-free life, while every minute sooner that they receive the drug translates into more than one extra day of healthy life. That's the finding of a study that examined the use of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) in treating ischemic strokes, which occur when a blood clot blocks blood flow to the brain. Guidelines say the drug should be given within four and a half hours after stroke symptoms begin, but this study shows that the earlier patients receive the drug within that window, the better. Researchers applied the findings from major clot-busting drug trials to more than 2,200 stroke survivors in Australia and Finland to determine what their outcomes would have been, depending on when they were given tPA. For every minute earlier that ... Read more

Related support groups: Ischemic Stroke

Even Slightly Higher Blood Pressure May Raise Stroke Risk: Study

Posted 12 Mar 2014 by

WEDNESDAY, March 12, 2014 – High blood pressure has long been pegged as a risk factor for stroke, but a new analysis suggests that even slightly elevated blood pressure levels raise the odds of suffering a stroke. The sweeping review analyzed data from 760,000 study participants who were followed for up to 36 years. The researchers found that people with "prehypertension" – higher-than-optimal blood pressure not officially defined as high blood pressure – were 66 percent more likely to experience a stroke than those with normal blood pressure. "This meta-analysis confirms evidence from many studies, and I think it continues to warn physicians and the public that more vigorous control of blood pressure is important for reducing stroke risk," said Dr. Ralph Sacco, chairman of neurology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, who was not involved in the research. "The ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Ischemic Stroke, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis

One-Third of Young Stroke Victims Remain Disabled Years After: Study

Posted 27 Feb 2014 by

THURSDAY, Feb. 27, 2014 – One-third of people who suffer strokes before the age of 50 will have trouble dealing with the challenges of daily life even several years later, a new study finds. The finding suggests that younger age provides only limited protection against the devastation of a stroke. While strokes are much rarer in younger people, 10 percent of all strokes occur from age 18 to 50, the study authors noted. Dr. Steven Levine, an attending neurologist at The Brooklyn Hospital Center in New York City, agreed. "Stroke in young people is more common than most people realize," he said. "Approximately 15 percent of all strokes due to blocked arteries [called ischemic strokes] occur in young adults and adolescents." Levine, who was not involved in the new study, added that stroke can often have a devastating effect on the lives of younger patients. "Compared to stroke in older ... Read more

Related support groups: Ischemic Stroke

Diabetes Boosts Stroke Risk for Women, But Not Men: Study

Posted 24 Feb 2014 by

MONDAY, Feb. 24, 2014 – A new study adds to the evidence that diabetes may boost the risk of a stroke in women but not in men. "All women, especially those over 55 years old, [should] get their risk factors for heart disease screened and aggressively treated," said Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, director of women and heart disease at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. She said prior studies have found that women with diabetes are at higher stroke risk compared to men with the disease. "As women go through menopause, the loss of protective estrogen allows for the risk factors of cardiovascular disease – such as diabetes – to wreak havoc on the arteries," explained Steinbaum, who was not involved in the new study. According to background information in the study, women living in developed countries are more likely to die from a stroke than their male peers. In the United States, women ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Ischemic Stroke

Death of Partner Boosts Risk for Heart Attack, Stroke, Study Says

Posted 24 Feb 2014 by

MONDAY, Feb. 24, 2014 – It's often said that the loss of a spouse or partner leaves "a broken heart." That notion might have some scientific validity, with new evidence suggesting the risk for a heart attack or stroke goes up during the first few weeks of bereavement. "Our study shows the likelihood of a heart attack or stroke doubles in the crucial 30-day period after a partner's death for those experiencing loss of a loved one," said study co-author Sunil Shah. Bereavement has long been known as a risk factor for death. Prior work has suggested that grief has a direct negative impact on blood clotting risk, blood pressure, stress hormone levels and heart rate control, said Shah, a senior lecturer in public health at St. George's University of London in England. But citing a lack of sufficient information on the specific impact of bereavement on heart disease, Shah and his colleagues ... Read more

Related support groups: Ischemic Stroke, Heart Attack, Myocardial Infarction

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