Links for Keyword: Stroke
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or subscribe to our mailing list, to receive news updates. Learn more.
The use of an advanced imaging shortly after the onset of acute stroke failed to identify a subgroup of patients who could benefit from a clot-removal procedure, a study has found. The randomized controlled trial known as Mechanical Retrieval and Recanalization of Stroke Clots Using Embolectomy (MR RESCUE) was funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorder and Stroke (NINDS), part of the National Institutes of Health, and was published online Feb. 8 in the New England Journal of Medicine. In patients with ischemic stroke (caused by a blockage in an artery), brain cells deprived of blood die within minutes to hours. Rapidly opening the artery can halt brain cell death. Intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA), a drug that dissolves clots has been shown to improve outcomes in such stroke patients. However intravenous t-PA is not effective in many patients with large clots blocking the major brain arteries that cause the most devastating strokes. MR RESCUE investigators tested an invasive clot removal strategy designed to remove clots from these large arteries. Patients in the study were enrolled at 22 centers in the United States within approximately 5.5 hours of their stroke onset. Their ability to function independently was assessed at 90 days. All MR-RESCUE patients underwent emergency computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance (MRI) perfusion imaging to identify regions of the brain with decreased blood flow, as well as regions that could not be salvaged.
Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 19: Language and Hemispheric Asymmetry; Chapter 2: Functional Neuroanatomy: The Nervous System and Behavior
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Language and Our Divided Brain; Chapter 2: Cells and Structures: The Anatomy of the Nervous System
Link ID: 17778 - Posted: 02.09.2013
By Nathan Seppa Men with high blood levels of lycopene — the compound that makes tomatoes red — are about half as likely to have a stroke as those low on lycopene, researchers in Finland report October 9 in Neurology. Some evidence suggests that lycopene quells inflammation, limits cholesterol production and inhibits blood clotting. But first and foremost, lycopene is a carotenoid, an antioxidant that sops up unstable molecules in the body called free radicals —agents that can induce DNA damage, kill cells, attack proteins and contribute to blood vessel disease. Lycopene’s direct effect on stroke risk is less clear. Studies have found that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, meaning plenty of carotenoids, seems to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. But few studies have analyzed lycopene’s effect specifically on stroke risk over time, the researchers note. Jouni Karppi and colleagues at the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio used blood tests to determine the lycopene levels of 1,031 men ages 46 to 65. Afterward, the men were monitored for a median of 12 years. The researchers tallied 67 strokes in the men over that span. Men with the lowest lycopene levels at the outset were more than twice as likely to have a stroke later as were those with the highest. “This is a very good study, and I’m really surprised they were able to find this relationship with only 67 strokes,” says Lyn Steffen, a nutritional epidemiologist at the University of Minnesota. © Society for Science & the Public 2000 - 2012
Strokes are occurring at a younger age, say researchers who call the trend concerning. Researchers looked at strokes occurring in people aged 20 to 54 in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky regions. "We found trends toward increasing stroke incidence at younger ages," study author Dr. Brett Kissela of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine in Ohio and his co-authors concluded in Wednesday's online issue of the journal Neurology. A rise in risk factors such as obesity, Type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol are potential reasons for the trend, Kissela said. Better diagnosis from MRI could also be contributing. "Regardless, the rising trend found in our study is of great concern for public health because strokes in younger people translate to greater lifetime disability," he said in a release. In the study, researchers looked at first strokes that occurred during three, separate year-long periods between 1993 and 2005. What's behind stroke trend? The average age of people who experienced stroke fell from 71 years in 1993 and 1994 to 69 years in 2005, the researchers found. Among the young stroke patients, more coronary heart disease was found in 1999 and 2005 compared with the first year. The prevalence of heart disease among the general population didn't change. © CBC 2012
Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 19: Language and Hemispheric Asymmetry; Chapter 7: Life-Span Development of the Brain and Behavior
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Language and Our Divided Brain; Chapter 13: Memory, Learning, and Development
Link ID: 17358 - Posted: 10.11.2012
It may be possible to use a drug to prevent some of the lasting and crippling damage caused by a stroke, according to doctors in the US and Canada. A safety trial, published in the Lancet Neurology medical journal, suggested the chemical NA-1 was safe to use. The study on 185 people also hinted that patients given the drug developed fewer regions of damaged brain tissue. The Stroke Association said that it was promising, but needed more research. Tests in primates had suggested NA-1 prevented brain cells dying when a stroke starved them of oxygen. A small trial was set up at 14 hospitals in the US and Canada. Patients who took part were having an operation to repair a brain aneurysm, a weakened blood vessel which could rupture, are at increased risk of a stroke. Ninety-two people had the drug injected into a vein, while another 93 were injected with salty water. The doctors concluded that NA-1 was safe, with only two patients having mild side effects. However, brain scans also showed that fewer brain lesions, damaged areas of tissue, formed in patients given the drug. BBC © 2012
By Mollie Bloudoff-Indelicato | The doctors told her she needed surgery — brain surgery. Operations on such a complex organ are never simple, but this procedure was exceptionally difficult. There was a high risk of complications, of debilitation, of post-op problems. Alvarez might wake up paralyzed. She might wake up legally blind. Worse still, there was a chance she might not wake up at all. Her mad dash to the emergency room had all begun with a walk in the park four days earlier. It was December 20, 2010, in Sunnyvale, Calif., a town that lives up to its name. The West Coast winter, not as long or as harsh as seasons in the East, gave her the opportunity to take her youngest child out for an afternoon stroll. In the fading light of dusk, Alvarez, too, began to fade. She lost the feeling in her right leg. Her right foot followed suit. She couldn’t lift or move her right hand. She was weak, and her body was numb. There was fear then, too. At 10:15 p.m., Alvarez says her husband drove her to Redwood City. That night she became a patient at Kaiser Permanente Redwood City Hospital. She says the doctors batted diagnoses back and forth. It was a tumor. No, it was cancer. It was Christmas, and Alvarez’s children cried and prayed, terrified that an unknown affliction would steal their mother away. Finally a CT scan revealed the malady. Alvarez had neurocysticercosis — a calcified tapeworm lodged in her brain. © 2012 Scientific American,
By James Gallagher Health and science reporter, BBC News Using small nets to extract blood clots from patients' brains may be the future of stroke care, according to two studies. Clots block blood vessels, starving parts of the brain of oxygen, which leads to symptoms such as paralysis and loss of speech. Two studies, presented in the Lancet medical journal, suggest extracting clots with nets could improve recovery. The Stroke Association said it was very excited by the treatment's potential. There are already techniques for reopening blocked blood vessels in people's brains. Some patients will be given "clot-busting" drugs, but this needs to be in the hours just after the stroke and is not suitable for everyone. Other techniques have been developed to extract the clot. Some procedures pass a tube up through the groin to the brain. There the wire passes through the clot, forming a coil on the far side and then pulling the clot out. However, this is far from routine practice. The latest methods involve a tiny wire cage instead of a coil. This pushes the clot up against the walls of the artery and enmeshes the clot in the wires, allowing doctors to pull the clot back out of the groin. BBC © 2012
A simple insole could help people who've survived a stroke to regain their balance. When someone suffers a stroke, one side of the body can be weakened, which raises the possibility of unstable walking and debilitating falls. Physiotherapists try to help patients learn to shift their body weight slightly to the weaker side that's been affected by the stroke to regain their balance, but it doesn't always work well. When the lower extremities and muscles are weakened after a stroke, people often learn how not to use that side of the body, even after they've recovered a bit, said Alexander Aruin, a physical therapy professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Aruin, who has a background in engineering, invented an insole that when fitted into a patient's shoe slightly lifts and tilts the body toward the stroke-affected side to restore balance. Physical therapy for stroke aims to help patients learn to shift their body weight slightly to the weaker side.Physical therapy for stroke aims to help patients learn to shift their body weight slightly to the weaker side. (Kim Kyung Hoon/Reuters) The device is used in conjunction with physical therapy to help people learn to bear weight equally through both legs and improve their strength and maintain balance. In a study, Aruin's team gave the insoles to individuals with stroke for six weeks and compared them to a control group who did not receive the insoles but did do physiotherapy. © CBC 2012
Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 19: Language and Hemispheric Asymmetry; Chapter 11: Motor Control and Plasticity
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Language and Our Divided Brain; Chapter 5: The Sensorimotor System
Link ID: 17071 - Posted: 07.21.2012
By Sandra G. Boodman, Of course Diane O’Leary was seriously tired — who wouldn’t be? A doctoral candidate in philosophy with a demanding academic schedule and a 3-year-old son, O’Leary had flown home to Sydney after her family’s annual visit to relatives in Upstate New York. A few days after that 1994 flight, when O’Leary had to stop in the middle of a dance class because she was too exhausted to continue, she chalked it up to bad jet lag. And a week or so later, when she couldn’t walk up a small hill with her son without stopping to rest on a bench, the 33-year-old wasn’t alarmed. “I managed to get myself through it,” she recalled, adding that she was accustomed to being somewhat tired. But a few weeks later, when the exhaustion didn’t recede, O’Leary consulted her general practitioner. He sent her to a specialist, who made a worrisome diagnosis that would prove to be the first of many wrong answers: chronic fatigue syndrome, an illness that is not relieved by rest. Several months later, after she developed joint pain along with the fatigue, doctors decided she had rheumatoid arthritis, a serious inflammatory disorder that can cause joint destruction. The following year, that diagnosis was jettisoned in favor of a severe form of lupus, an autoimmune disease in which the body attacks its own tissues. But after medications that are the mainstay of treating lupus had no effect — and she developed strange new symptoms — O’Leary’s doctors shifted focus, suggesting that she was also suffering from an underlying psychological disorder. She said she remembers one doctor telling her, “You’re just nervous, honey.” © 1996-2012 The Washington Post
Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 19: Language and Hemispheric Asymmetry; Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Language and Our Divided Brain; Chapter 12: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavioral Disorders
Link ID: 16995 - Posted: 07.03.2012
WASHINGTON — A Covidien device for rare malformed blood vessels can get stuck in the brain and has been linked to nine patient deaths, U.S. regulators warned. The device, made by Covidien unit ev3, uses a spongy material to block off blood flow to abnormal tangles of blood vessels before they are removed by surgery. The material is delivered to the brain through a tube inserted into a groin artery, known as a catheter. But the catheter can get stuck in the spongy material while inside the brain, causing serious complications including hemorrhage and death, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said in a notice posted to its website on Thursday. Since the device was approved in 2005, the FDA said it has received more than 100 reports of the catheter breaking after it became stuck, including nine deaths. In at least 54 cases, the catheter could not be removed, leaving it implanted in the patient. "Neither (the spongy material) nor the catheter is intended to be long-term implants, and patients may need additional medical interventions to have the catheter removed if it becomes entrapped," the FDA said in the notice. If the catheter is not removed, parts of it can also migrate to other parts of the body. (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2012
Elizabeth Armstrong Moore After a stroke, it is often possible -- with months of therapy and determination -- for the brain to relearn how to control a weakened limb. Finding the resources (therapist, finances, time) can be the bigger hurdle. Enter Circus Challenge, the first in a coming suite of action video games designed by Newcastle University stroke experts and the new company Limbs Alive to provide extra in-home therapy. "Eighty percent of patients do not regain full recovery of arm and hand function and this really limits their independence and ability to return to work," pediatric neuroscience professor Janet Eyre at Newcastle, who set up Limbs Alive to produce the games, said in a news release. "Patients need to be able to use both their arms and hands for most everyday activities such as doing up a zip, making a bed, tying shoe laces, unscrewing a jar. With our video game, people get engrossed in the competition and action of the circus characters and forget that the purpose of the game is therapy." Patients use wireless controllers to learn various circus-related skills, from lion taming and juggling to high diving and trapeze work. As they succeed at various tasks, they go on to more challenging quests that involve greater skill, strength, and coordination. © 2012 CBS Interactive.
A simple drawing test may help predict the risk of older men dying after a first stroke, a study in the journal BMJ Open suggests. Taken while healthy, the test involves drawing lines between numbers in ascending order as fast as possible. Men who scored in the bottom third were about three times as likely to die after a stroke compared with those who were in the highest third. The study looked at 1,000 men between the ages of 67 and 75 over 14 years. Of the 155 men who had a stroke, 22 died within a month and more than half within an average of two- and-a-half years. The researchers think that tests are able to pick up hidden damage to brain blood vessels when there are no other obvious signs or symptoms. Dr Clare Walton, from the Stroke Association, said: "This is an interesting study because it suggests there may be early changes in the brain that puts someone at a greater risk of having a fatal stroke. "This is a small study and the causes of poor ability on the drawing task is not known. Although much more research is needed, this task has the potential to screen for those most at risk of a severe or fatal stroke before it occurs so that they can benefit from preventative treatments." BBC © 2012
By GINA KOLATA BALTIMORE — The patient founded a totalitarian state known for its “merciless terror,” Dr. Victoria Giffi told a rapt audience of doctors and medical students on Friday afternoon. He died suddenly at 6:50 p.m. on Jan. 21, 1924, a few months before his 54th birthday. The cause of death: a massive stroke. Experts differ on the likely causes of the stroke that killed Lenin at 53. The man’s cerebral arteries, Dr. Giffi added, were “so calcified that when tapped with tweezers they sounded like stone.” The occasion was a so-called clinicopathological conference, a mainstay of medical schools in which a mysterious medical case is presented to an audience of doctors and medical students. In the end, a pathologist solves the mystery with a diagnosis. But this was a conference with a twist. The patient was long dead — he was, in fact, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. The questions posed to the conference speakers: Why did he have a fatal stroke at such a young age? Was there something more to his death than history has acknowledged? At the University of Maryland, an clinicopathological conference focused on historical figures has been an annual event for the past 19 years; attending doctors have reviewed the case records of Florence Nightingale, Alexander the Great, Mozart, Beethoven and Edgar Allan Poe. The pathologists’ conclusion that Poe died of rabies even became a final question on the “Jeopardy!” game show. © 2012 The New York Times Company
Kat Austen, CultureLab editor Neuroanatomist and stroke survivor Jill Bolte Taylor explains why she hopes her display of cerebral artwork will raise awareness of the brain Why are you opening an outdoor exhibition of giant brains? I care about the brain. I grew up wanting to study it because I have a brother diagnosed with schizophrenia. Then in 1996, when I was a neuroscience researcher at Harvard Medical School, I experienced a rare form of stroke. A few years later, during my recovery, I was in Chicago, and on the streets they had sculptures of these enormous cows painted by individual artists so that every cow was different. I thought, wouldn't it be cool to have brains on public display for art? So for the past 10 years, I've been dreaming about having brains on display. And last year I started a not-for-profit organisation to raise appreciation for and awareness about the human brain. The Brain Extravaganza in Bloomington, Indiana, where I live, is the first project. There are 22 enormous brains - five feet long, five feet high and four feet wide. Every brain is anatomically correct with 12 pairs of cranial nerves, and each is decorated by a different artist using different kinds of media. © Copyright Reed Business Information Ltd.
Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 2: Functional Neuroanatomy: The Nervous System and Behavior; Chapter 19: Language and Hemispheric Asymmetry
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 2: Cells and Structures: The Anatomy of the Nervous System; Chapter 15: Language and Our Divided Brain
Link ID: 16731 - Posted: 05.01.2012
By Laura Sanders CHICAGO — A brain zapping technique helps people recover language after a stroke, new research shows. The results may point to a better way for people to relearn how to talk after a brain injury. “I think this work is very promising,” said cognitive neuroscientist Roi Cohen Kadosh of the University of Oxford. The study, presented April 2 at the annual meeting of Cognitive Neuroscience Society, represents one of the first attempts to successfully apply brain stimulation techniques to a clinical population, he said. Speech therapist and neuroscientist Jenny Crinion of University College London and collaborators focused on people who had trouble finding the right word after a stroke. Known as anomia, the condition is frustrating, leaving people unable to call the correct word to mind. Crinion and her colleagues paired a word-training technique with brain stimulation. The training regimen was intense. In the lab and at home, participants studied 150 cards with pictures of one-syllable words of everyday objects: cat, bed, car and so on for a total of about 60 hours over six weeks. Three days a week, six volunteers came into the lab to receive a type of electrical brain stimulation known as transcranial direct current stimulation. Volunteers received the stimulation, which doesn’t seem to cause pain or any ill effects, while training on the vocabulary words. Seven volunteers received a sham treatment without stimulation. © Society for Science & the Public 2000 - 2012
By Lenny Bernstein, Kris Brott was more amazed than alarmed when her tongue suddenly seemed to turn upside down in her mouth. She was in the office at Quince Orchard High School in Gaithersburg, dropping off a check for her son’s baseball team, when she suddenly found herself quite literally tongue-tied. Her puzzlement gave way to panic when she reached her car and looked in the mirror. The left side of her face had collapsed. By the time she reached home, her left arm had gone numb. Soon she was dragging her left leg. It was March 15, 2010, the day before her 45th birthday. This couldn’t be happening, she thought. She was too young and much too fit. “I still kept thinking, ‘I’m not having a stroke,’ ” she recalled. She was wrong. At the hospital, emergency room physicians cleared the clot from her brain, but the damage had been done. When Brott was left with little strength on her left side despite physical therapy, she faced a long, difficult future in a body compromised by a disease of the elderly — until she decided to take control of her own recovery by returning to the gym. Researchers are learning that exercise can help younger stroke victims such as Brott regain function, even years after they are stricken. A widely cited 2011 study provides support for therapeutic approaches like the one Brott stumbled upon when she returned to the gym. © 1996-2012 The Washington Post
Martin E. Schwab & Anita D. Buchli Recently, at the annual retreat of the Zurich Neuroscience Center, we ran into a former colleague who had often helped us to prepare for courses we were teaching. But he was not there to teach — he was participating in a demonstration as a patient. A stroke had left him paralysed on one side, wheelchair-bound and unable to speak. He had been looking forward to interacting with the students, but when he could not communicate with them, he broke into tears. After a difficult rehabilitation, he was able to resume some of his work, but he still cannot speak. His arm and leg will probably remain paralysed for the rest of his life. Our colleague was one of the 8.2 million Europeans who experience stroke every year1. The brain is a source of many devastating disorders — such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis — and injuries to the spinal cord or brain can lead to lifelong impairments. At present, disabling spinal-cord injuries affect roughly 350,000 people in Europe and 250,000 in the United States. Traumatic brain injuries are about ten times more common. Treatments that could restore lost functions to people with such injuries would radically change their lives and decrease the burden to their families and social environment. The economic interest to drug companies and health insurers seems obvious. Yet drug companies have withdrawn from neuroscience, more so than from any other disease area. Last year, Novartis closed its preclinical neuroscience research facility in Basel, Switzerland. Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca had already made similar moves. Merck and Sanofi are also cutting research on brain diseases. © 2012 Nature Publishing Group
Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders; Chapter 19: Language and Hemispheric Asymmetry
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavioral Disorders; Chapter 15: Language and Our Divided Brain
Link ID: 16533 - Posted: 03.17.2012
A DRUG which minimises brain damage when given three hours after stroke has proved successful in monkeys and humans. A lack of oxygen in the brain during a stroke can cause fatal brain damage. There is only one approved treatment - tissue plasminogen activator - but it is most effective when administered within 90 minutes after the onset of stroke. Immediate treatment isn't always available, however, so drugs that can be given at a later time have been sought. In a series of experiments, Michael Tymianski and colleagues at Toronto Western Hospital in Ontario, Canada, replicated the effects of stroke in macaques before intravenously administering a PSD-95 inhibitor, or a placebo. PSD-95 inhibitors interfere with the process that triggers cell death when the brain is deprived of oxygen. To test its effectiveness the team used MRI to measure the volume of damaged brain for 30 days following the treatment, and conducted behavioural tests at various intervals within this time. Monkeys treated with the PSD-95 inhibitor one hour after stroke had 55 per cent less damaged tissue in the brain after 24 hours and 70 per cent less after 30 days, compared with those that took a placebo. These animals also did better in behavioural tests. Importantly, the drug was also effective three hours after stroke (Nature, DOI: 10.1038/nature10841). © Copyright Reed Business Information Ltd
Steve Connor Scientists have identified a genetic mutation in one of the 23,000 human genes that can double the risk of a stroke, which kills more than six million people worldwide each year and is the second top cause of death in developed countries. A study of thousands of stroke patients in Britain and Germany found a link between the most common type of stroke – a blocked blood vessel leading to the brain – and a genetic variation in a gene known as HDAC9. Although strokes are known to run in families, this is one of the first studies to identify a precise DNA variant in the human genetic code that doubles a person's risk of developing a blocked artery supplying vital oxygen to the brain. The HDAC9 gene was already known to be involved in the formation of muscle tissue and the development of the heart, but the latest research suggests it is also implicated in a particular kind of illness called large-artery ischaemic stroke. Scientists said the DNA variation occurs on about 10 per cent of the chromosomes carrying the HDAC9 gene. People who inherit two copies of the variant, one from their mother and one from their father, face twice the risk of developing this type of stroke than people with no copies of the gene variant, they said. The study, published in Nature Genetics and funded by the Wellcome Trust charity, used a relatively new scientific technique of genome-wide association studies to compare the DNA of some 10,000 stroke patients with the DNA of 40,000 people who have not had a stroke. © independent.co.uk
Erin Allday, Chronicle Staff Writer Greg Moulton was getting ready for work one morning in 2006 when he suddenly lost all of the strength in his right arm, and he realized he was having a stroke. Thinking fast, he called his wife and left a message for her. Then he called his office to let his boss know that he was having a stroke and "would be in shortly," Moulton said. "I was very naive," said Moulton, 51, last week from his home in Fremont. "I knew what a stroke was, but I didn't know how serious it was." Fortunately for Moulton, his wife did know, and so did the paramedics who arrived at his home a few minutes later. Another lucky turn: Alameda County had just started a new emergency stroke response system, which meant that everyone from the 911 dispatcher Moulton's wife called to the emergency room doctors and nurses at the hospital where he was taken were ready for him and knew immediately how to treat him. Such stroke systems have been popping up all over California in the past six years, and there are now 11 regions in the state - including Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara and San Mateo counties in the Bay Area - that provide coordinated emergency stroke care. Contra Costa was the most recent county to start a system, which launched earlier this month. © 2012 Hearst Communications Inc.
by Richard Knox Debra Meyerson was hiking near Lake Tahoe 15 months ago when a stroke destroyed part of the left side of her brain, leaving her literally speechless. It happens to more than 150,000 Americans a year. But now Meyerson is learning to talk again through an approach that trains the undamaged right side of her brain to "speak." Specifically, it's a region that controls singing. For more than 100 years, it's been known that people who can't speak after injury to the speech centers on the left side of the brain can sing. In the 1970s, Boston researchers started to use a sort of "singing therapy" to help stroke survivors speak again. However, it never caught on much – perhaps because a lot of therapists, not to mention patients, weren't comfortable singing what they wanted to say. And back then, the science wasn't advanced enough to show the actual changes in the brain that result from the therapy. That's changing fast. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who has had a version of "singing therapy," astounded everyone by her ability to speak again – albeit so far in single words and short phrases. Nearly a year ago, a would-be assassin's bullet tore through the speech center in Giffords' left brain. Copyright 2011 NPR