Links for Keyword: Stroke

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National Institutes of Health researchers have identified gene variants that cause a rare syndrome of sporadic fevers, skin rashes and recurring strokes, beginning early in childhood. The team’s discovery coincides with findings by an Israeli research group that identified an overlapping set of variants of the same gene in patients with a similar type of blood vessel inflammation. The NIH group first encountered a patient with the syndrome approximately 10 years ago. The patient, then 3 years old, experienced fevers, skin rash and strokes that left her severely disabled. Because there was no history of a similar illness in the family, the NIH group did not at first suspect a genetic cause, and treated the patient with immunosuppressive medication. However, when the NIH team evaluated a second patient with similar symptoms two years ago — a child who had experienced recurrent fevers and six strokes by her sixth birthday — they began to suspect a common genetic cause and embarked on a medical odyssey that has led not only to a diagnosis, but to fundamental new insights into blood vessel disease. In their study, which appears in the Feb. 19, 2014, advance online edition of the New England Journal of Medicine, the researchers describe how next-generation genome sequencing, only recently available, facilitated a molecular diagnosis for patients in their study. The researchers found that harmful variants in the CECR1 gene impede production of a protein vital to the integrity of healthy blood vessel walls. The researchers showed that faulty variants in their patients’ DNA that encode the CECR1 gene cause a loss of function of the gene’s ability to produce of an enzyme called adenosine deaminase 2 (ADA2). Without it, abnormalities and inflammation in blood vessel walls result. The researchers call the new syndrome, deficiency of ADA2, or DADA2.

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: 19277 - Posted: 02.22.2014

Women have a poorer quality of life after a stroke than men, a study has found. The US research, published in Neurology, assessed the mental and physical health of 1,370 patients three months and a year after a stroke. Women had more depression and anxiety, pain and discomfort, and more restricted mobility. UK experts said women tended to have strokes later, and might therefore need more support. But the study did say more people survive a stroke now than 10 years ago because of improved treatment and prevention. The researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, North Carolina, looked at patients who had had a stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA), also known as a mini-stroke. Quality of life is calculated using a formula that assesses mobility, self-care, everyday activities, depression/anxiety and pain. At three months, women were more likely than men to report problems with mobility, pain and discomfort, anxiety and depression, but the difference was greatest in those aged over 75. After a year, women still had lower quality-of-life scores overall than men but the difference between them was smaller. Support needs Prof Cheryl Bushnell, who led the study, said: "We found that women had a worse quality of life than men up to 12 months following a stroke." BBC © 2014

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 19: Language and Hemispheric Asymmetry; Chapter 12: Sex: Evolutionary, Hormonal, and Neural Bases
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Language and Our Divided Brain; Chapter 8: Hormones and Sex
Link ID: 19221 - Posted: 02.08.2014

By Susan Berger, The chiropractor had just worked on Lynne Beliveau’s neck when she became dizzy, unable to see or move. Rushed to the hospital, Beliveau had a shunt inserted to relieve pressure caused by swelling in her brain. The Ashburn woman suffered a series of strokes and today, eight years later, the 41-year-old mother of three suffers from constant vertigo. Elizabeth Haran Caplan knew she was in trouble seconds after a chiropractor in Oklahoma City manipulated her neck. The room got dark and she felt dizzy. Because of her years of service as a combat medic in Kosovo and Somalia, she knew what was happening and yelled, “Stop. I’m having a stroke.” More than a decade later, she is blind in her left eye and has problems swallowing without choking due to paralysis of one side of her throat. Approximately 20 million Americans visit chiropractors each year, according to the American Chiropractic Association, seeking relief from back pain, neck pain, headaches, sinus problems, ringing in the ears and more. For many, the manipulations provide relief. But one of the techniques chiropractors use, called cervical neck manipulation or “cracking the neck,” has raised concerns that it can cause serious harm. “I have jumped out of airplanes, escaped bullets in Somalia,” said Haran Caplan, 47, who retired from the Army nine years ago as a lieutenant colonel. “Who knew the most dangerous place I would put myself would be on a chiropractor’s table?” © 1996-2014 The Washington Post

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 19: Language and Hemispheric Asymmetry
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Language and Our Divided Brain
Link ID: 19109 - Posted: 01.08.2014

by Jessica Griggs, San Diego No practice required. Wouldn't it be great if you could get better at playing sport or hone your piano skills simply by thinking about it? A small pilot study suggests that it might be possible. In the last few years, brain training using computer games that provide neurofeedback – a real-time representation of your brain activity – has become a popular, if controversial, method of enhancing cognitive abilities such as spatial memory, planning and multitasking. It has even been used to help actors get into character. Most of the games aim to enhance activation in a single part of the brain. But motor skills are known to involve two main areas – the premotor cortex and the supplementary motor cortex. Both are involved when people make movements or imagine moving. Brain activity between these regions is known to be less synchronised in people who are poor at motor tasks than in those who excel at them. So to see if brain training could target both areas and improve motor performance, Sook-Lei Liew and her colleagues from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in Bethesda, Maryland, recruited eight young adults. The researchers and asked the participants to watch a white circle on a screen while an fMRI machine scanned their brain. When the circle turned into a red triangle, the volunteers were told to move their fingers. This movement caused activation in their premotor cortex and supplementary motor cortex, which in turn moved a bar on the screen. The higher the synchronisation of activity between the two brain areas, the higher the bar went. © Copyright Reed Business Information Ltd.

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 11: Motor Control and Plasticity; Chapter 19: Language and Hemispheric Asymmetry
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 5: The Sensorimotor System; Chapter 15: Language and Our Divided Brain
Link ID: 18928 - Posted: 11.14.2013

By NELSON GRAVES Six years ago I suffered a stroke that forced me to relearn how to walk. The other day I ran a half-marathon. Strokes strike with stealth, but for me it was not entirely a surprise. During a physical in Milan in 2007, the doctor listened to my heart, then ordered an electrocardiogram. “Fair enough,” I reassured myself. “I’m 52 years old, and it’s no use taking anything for granted.” The nurse furrowed her brow as she studied the first read-out, then conducted a second, longer EKG. I put my shirt back on and returned to the doctor’s office. “I have some news for you,” he said. “You have atrial fibrillation. AF for short.” He wrote down the two words and explained they meant an irregular beating of the heart’s upper chambers. “It’s not life threatening. But it increases the risk of stroke six-fold.” I was too young to have a stroke. “I work 12-hour days, play squash three times a week and haven’t missed a day of work in 24 years,” I said. My attention piqued, I could now hear my heart’s irregular beat as I lay my head on my pillow. That must explain the dizziness when I get up at night to go to the bathroom. Or the fatigue at the end of a squash match. So when, on a September afternoon in Tokyo, my head began to spin wildly and I could hardly speak, I knew what was happening. After an ambulance ride to the hospital and an M.R.I., I heard the doctor say, “You’ve had a cerebral embolism.” That would be a stroke. Copyright 2013 The New York Times Company

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: 18833 - Posted: 10.26.2013

Stroke deaths and illnesses are likely to continue shifting younger, global research suggests. In the Global and Regional Burden of Stroke in 1999-2010 study published in Thursday's issue of the medical journal The Lancet, researchers take a comprehensive look at stroke rates by country and region. "Stroke burden worldwide continues to increase," Prof. Valery Feigin, director of the National Institute for Stroke and Applied Neurosciences at AUT University in New Zealand said in an interview. "It's increasing at increased pace, more than we expected, disproportionately affecting low-to middle-income countries." The proportion of stroke in people younger than 65 is substantial, Feigin's team said. More than 83,000 children and youths aged 20 years and younger are affected by stroke annually. Feigin said the epidemic of obesity, and Type 2 diabetes in children and young people is increasing worldwide, which will be important risk factors for stroke 20 or 30 years down the road. If the trends in low-income and middle-income countries continue, by 2030 there will be almost 12 million stroke deaths and 70 million stroke survivors worldwide, the researchers projected. More than 90 per cent of strokes are preventable through lifestyle changes such as improving diet, quitting smoking, reducing salt and alcohol intake, increasing physical activity and managing stress, Feigin said.

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 19: Language and Hemispheric Asymmetry
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Language and Our Divided Brain
Link ID: 18828 - Posted: 10.24.2013

By Meeri Kim, Dizziness, vertigo and nausea are common symptoms of an inner-ear infection. But they can also be signs of a stroke. For doctors, especially those working in emergency rooms, quickly and accurately making the distinction is vital. But basic diagnostic tools, including the otoscope and simple eye-movement tests, are far from definitive. As a result, many doctors resort to a pricey imaging test such as a CT scan or an MRI. Nearly half of the 4 million people who visit U.S. emergency rooms each year with dizziness are given an MRI or CT scan, according to a study issued last month. Only about 3 percent of those 4 million people are actually having strokes. Why did the physical therapist’s staff push him to make more visits? Hefty insurance payments, perhaps. For the 25 percent of strokes that restrict blood flow to the back portions of the brain, CT scans are a poor diagnostic tool, according to the study’s leader, David Newman-Toker, an associate professor of neurology and otolaryngology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “CT scans are so bad at detecting [these strokes] that they miss about 85 percent of them” in the first day after symptoms begin, he said. “That’s pretty close to useless.” Even MRIs miss almost 20 percent of strokes if the test is done within the first 24 hours. A new device offers a promising option for rooting out the cause of dizziness: eye-tracking goggles. © 1996-2013 The Washington Post

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 19: Language and Hemispheric Asymmetry; Chapter 10: Vision: From Eye to Brain
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Language and Our Divided Brain; Chapter 7: Vision: From Eye to Brain
Link ID: 18464 - Posted: 08.06.2013

Here’s yet another reason to get off the couch: new research findings suggest that regularly breaking a sweat may lower the risk of having a stroke. A stroke can occur when a blood vessel in the brain gets blocked. As a result, nearby brain cells will die after not getting enough oxygen and other nutrients. A number of risk factors for stroke have been identified, including smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes and being inactive. For this study, published in the journal Stroke, Michelle N. McDonnell, Ph.D., from the University of South Australia, Adelaide and her colleagues obtained data from the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke (REGARDS) study. REGARDS is a large, long-term study funded by the NIH National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) to look at the reasons behind the higher rates of stroke mortality among African-Americans and other residents living in the Southeastern United States. “Epidemiological studies such as REGARDS provide an important opportunity to explore race, genetics, environmental, and lifestyle choices as stroke risk factors,” said Claudia Moy, Ph.D., program director at NINDS. Over 30,000 participants supplied their medical history over the phone. The researchers also visited them to obtain health measures such as body mass index and blood pressure. At the beginning of the study, the researchers asked participants how many times per week they exercised vigorously enough to work up a sweat. The researchers contacted participants every six months to see if they had experienced a stroke or a mini-stroke known as a transient ischemic attack (TIA). To confirm their responses, the researchers reviewed participants’ medical records.

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: 18393 - Posted: 07.20.2013

By Caroline Parkinson Health editor, BBC News website Patients given a clot-busting drug within six hours of a stroke are more likely to have a good quality of life 18 months afterwards, an international study suggests. However, the review of more than 3,000 patients found the drug - alteplase - offered no improvement in survival rates. The drug is increasingly being used in specialist stroke units in the UK. The Stroke Association said the Lancet Neurology research was "encouraging". Quality of life The treatment is given to patients who have had an ischaemic stroke, when the brain's blood supply is interrupted by a clot. A stroke can cause permanent damage such as paralysis and speech problems, and can be fatal. Without treatment, a third of people who suffer a stroke die, with another third left permanently dependent and disabled. This international trial, led by researchers at the University of Edinburgh, followed patients from 12 different countries - half had the alteplase treatment, which is given intravenously, and half did not. It was funded by the UK and Australian governments, the UK Stroke Association, the Medical Research Council and Health Foundation UK, with no funding from the pharmaceutical company that makes the drug. The researchers suggest that for every 1,000 patients given the drug within six hours of stroke, by 18 months, 36 more will be able to manage independently and will have less pain and discomfort than if they had not had it. However that is the average - and more of those given alteplase within the first hour or two after a stroke will see such benefits. BBC © 2013

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 19: Language and Hemispheric Asymmetry
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Language and Our Divided Brain
Link ID: 18299 - Posted: 06.22.2013

by John Bohannon WASHINGTON, D.C.—People may grow wiser with age, but they don't grow smarter. Many of our mental abilities decline after midlife, and now researchers say that they've fingered a culprit. A study presented here last week at the annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science points to microbleeding in the brain caused by stiffening arteries. The finding may lead to new therapies to combat senior moments. This isn't the first time that microbleeds have been suspected as a cause of cognitive decline. "We have known [about them] for some time thanks to neuroimaging studies," says Matthew Pase, a psychology Ph.D. student at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia. The brains of older people are sometimes peppered with dark splotches where blood vessels have burst and created tiny dead zones of tissue. How important these microbleeds are to cognitive decline, and what causes them, have remained open questions, however. Pase wondered if high blood pressure might be behind the microbleeds. The brain is a very blood-hungry organ, he notes. "It accounts for only 2% of the body weight yet receives 15% of the cardiac output and consumes 20% of the body's oxygen expenditure." Rather than getting the oxygen in pulses, the brain needs a smooth, continuous supply. So the aorta, the largest blood vessel branching off the heart, smooths out blood pressure before it reaches the brain by absorbing the pressure with its flexible walls. But as people age, the aorta stiffens. That translates to higher pressure on the brain, especially during stress. The pulse of blood can be strong enough to burst vessels in the brain, resulting in microbleeds. © 2010 American Association for the Advancement of Science

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 19: Language and Hemispheric Asymmetry; Chapter 17: Learning and Memory
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Language and Our Divided Brain; Chapter 13: Memory, Learning, and Development
Link ID: 18202 - Posted: 05.30.2013

By ANDREW C. REVKIN Twenty-two months ago, I interrupted my nonstop reporting about paths toward a sustainable future for our species to focus on sustaining myself. The hiatus was not by choice, but was mandated by a stroke — the out-of-the-blue variant, the rare kind of “brain attack” (the term preferred by some neurologists) that is most often seen in otherwise healthy, youngish middle-aged people. It’s Fourth of July weekend, 2011 — a beautiful, if hot, morning for a run in the Hudson Valley woods with my son Daniel, back from brief service in the Israeli army. I’m eager to be pushed hard. I’m not even a lapsed middle-aged athlete; I’m truly negligent when it comes to exercise. We’re jogging up a steep path, and my breathing gets deeper and faster. At a particularly tough turn, I pause, hands on knees. “Come on, keep it up, Dad.” I’m panting but don’t want to disappoint. We press on. But I stop again, this time insisting that Daniel run ahead. I rest in the mottled shade and sunlight of the woods until he returns. Then I realize that through my left eye, the world appears paisley — as if I were looking through a patterned curtain. Something is really wrong. We make it back to the car. Daniel takes the wheel. Back home, I take a shower, thinking that cooling off will help. For the first time, a thought flickers. Could this be a stroke? Almost unconsciously, I take half a dozen baby aspirin. I know enough about aspirin’s blood-thinning properties to think this can’t hurt. Copyright 2013 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 19: Language and Hemispheric Asymmetry
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Language and Our Divided Brain
Link ID: 18147 - Posted: 05.14.2013

By ANAHAD O'CONNOR Slurred and incoherent speech is one of the classic signs of a stroke. But new research finds that another symptom may be garbled and disjointed text messages, which could provide early clues to the onset of a stroke. In Detroit, doctors encountered a 40-year-old patient who had no trouble reading, writing or understanding language. His only consistent problem was that he had lost the ability to type coherent text messages on his phone. An imaging scan showed that he had suffered a mild ischemic stroke, caused by a clot or blockage in his brain. The case represents at least the second instance of what doctors are calling “dystextia.” In December, a report in The Archives of Neurology described a 25-year-old pregnant woman whose husband grew concerned after she sent him a series of incoherent text messages. Doctors found that the woman had also been experiencing weakness in her right arm and leg, and that she had earlier had difficulty filling out an intake form at her obstetrician’s office. The case in Detroit was particularly unusual because garbled texting appeared to be the only conspicuous problem, at least initially, said Dr. Omran Kaskar, a senior neurology resident at Henry Ford Hospital who treated the patient in late 2011. “Stroke patients usually present with multiple neurologic deficits,” he said. The findings suggest that text messaging may be a unique form of language controlled by a distinct part of the brain. And because texts are time-stamped, they may potentially be useful as a way of helping doctors determine precisely when a patient’s stroke symptoms began. The patient was a businessman who had traveled to southeast Michigan one evening for a work trip. Shortly after midnight, the man sent text messages to his wife that were disjointed and nonsensical – and not because he was using shorthand. Copyright 2013 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 19: Language and Hemispheric Asymmetry
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Language and Our Divided Brain
Link ID: 17925 - Posted: 03.20.2013

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The future is unclear for a heart device aimed at preventing strokes in people at high risk of them because of an irregular heartbeat. Early results from a key study of the device, Boston Scientific’s Watchman, suggested it is safer than previous testing found, but may not be better than a drug that is used to prevent strokes, heart-related deaths and blood clots in people with atrial fibrillation in the long term. Atrial fibrillation, a common heart arrhythmia that affects millions of Americans, causes blood to pool in a small pouch. Clots can form and travel to the brain, causing a stroke. The usual treatment is blood thinners like warfarin, sold as Coumadin and other brands. But they have their own problems and some are very expensive. The Watchman is intended to be a permanent solution that would not require people to take medication for the rest of their lives. It is a tiny expandable umbrella that plugs the pouch of blood, and is inserted without surgery, via a tube pushed into a vein. A study four years ago indicated the device was at least as good at preventing strokes as warfarin, but the procedure to implant it led to strokes in some patients. The Food and Drug Administration required another test of its safety and effectiveness. The new study was led by Dr. David Holmes Jr. of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. He and the clinic have a financial stake in the device. © 2013 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 19: Language and Hemispheric Asymmetry
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Language and Our Divided Brain
Link ID: 17886 - Posted: 03.11.2013

By James Gallagher Health and science reporter, BBC News A part of the brain's ability to shield itself from the destructive damage caused by a stroke has been explained by researchers. It has been known for more than 85 years that some brain cells could withstand being starved of oxygen. Scientists, writing in the journal Nature Medicine, have shown how these cells switch into survival mode. They hope to one-day find a drug which uses the same trick to protect the whole brain. Treating a stroke is a race against time. Clots that block the blood supply prevent the flow of oxygen and sugar to brain cells, which then rapidly die. But in 1926, it was noticed that some cells in the hippocampus, the part of the brain involved in memory, did not follow this rule. "They're staying alive when the prediction would say that they should die," said Prof Alastair Buchan from Oxford University who has investigated how they survive. I'm a survivor Experiments on rats showed that these surviving-cells started producing a protein called hamartin - which forces cells to conserve energy. They stop producing new proteins and break down existing ones to access the raw materials. When the researchers prevented the cells from producing hamartin, they died just like other cells. BBC © 2013

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 19: Language and Hemispheric Asymmetry
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Language and Our Divided Brain
Link ID: 17844 - Posted: 02.25.2013

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

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 19: Language and Hemispheric Asymmetry
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Language and Our Divided Brain
Link ID: 17363 - Posted: 10.13.2012

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

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 19: Language and Hemispheric Asymmetry
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Language and Our Divided Brain
Link ID: 17344 - Posted: 10.08.2012

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,

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 19: Language and Hemispheric Asymmetry
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Language and Our Divided Brain
Link ID: 17229 - Posted: 09.07.2012

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

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 19: Language and Hemispheric Asymmetry
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Language and Our Divided Brain
Link ID: 17204 - Posted: 08.27.2012