Links for Keyword: Stroke

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By Nathan Seppa Threading a catheter up into the brain and inserting a device that widens a dangerously narrowed artery might do more harm than good in some patients at risk of stroke. An aggressive course of medications alone appears to be safer, researchers report online September 7 in the New England Journal of Medicine. Mesh cylinders called stents have offered cardiologists an inside-out approach to opening clogged coronary arteries that is less invasive than surgery. Now researchers are using a new generation of tiny stents to tackle similarly narrowed vessels in the brain. Federal regulators approved a brain stent in 2005, and past studies have supported stents’ effectiveness against stroke (SN: 2/17/2007, p. 99). Researchers used the approved stent in the new trial. They enrolled hundreds of patients at 50 hospitals who had just survived a stroke or had a transient ischemic attack, a kind of stroke that clears up within a day, says study coauthor Marc Chimowitz, a neurologist at the Medical University of South Carolina. The average age of the patients was about 60. Brain scans of these patients pinpointed an artery with buildup that obstructed at least 70 percent of blood flow. People with such bottlenecks are at high risk of having a stroke, because a blood clot may form at the narrowed spot and block blood flow, or a loose clot might get lodged at the pinch point. All patients received clot-busting medicines — aspirin and clopidogrel (Plavix) — and were given drugs to lower cholesterol and control blood pressure. © Society for Science & the Public 2000 - 2011

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 19: Language and Hemispheric Asymmetry
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Language and Our Divided Brain
Link ID: 15780 - Posted: 09.08.2011

Tiny clots in the brain may be the cause of some signs of old age such as stooped posture and restricted movement, say US scientists. Researchers examining the brains of 418 deceased patients found damaged blood vessels in 29% of them which would not have been picked up by normal scans. They said higher levels of damage were linked to more limited movement. The researchers, writing in the journal Stroke, said declining mobility should not be accepted as normal ageing. Mild symptoms of Parkinson's disease - such as slow movement, rigidity, tremors and posture - increase with age and are thought to affect up to half of people by the age of 85. A team of scientists at the Rush University Medical Center, in Chicago, carried out autopsies on the brains of nuns and priests who were taking part in the Religious Order Study. The brains were examined under a microscope for signs of damage which would be invisible to normal brain scans. They found 29% of patients with no previously detected sign of stroke had clotted or narrowed blood vessels. BBC © 2011

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: 15756 - Posted: 09.03.2011

By Pallab Ghosh Science correspondent, BBC News The world's first clinical trial of brain stem cells to treat strokes is set to move to its next phase. An independent assessment of the first three patients to have had stem cells injected into their brain at Glasgow's Southern General Hospital has concluded it has had no adverse effect. The assessment paves the way for the therapy to be tested on more patients to find a new treatment for stroke. The hope is that the stem cells will help to repair damaged brain tissue. The trial is being led by Prof Keith Muir of Glasgow University. He told BBC News that he was pleased with the results so far. "We need to be assured of safety before we can progress to trying to test the effects of this therapy. Because this is the first time this type of cell therapy has been used in humans, it's vitally important that we determine that it's safe to proceed - so at the present time we have the clearance to proceed to the next higher dose of cells." An elderly man was the first person in the world to receive this treatment last year. Since then it has been tried out on two more patients. The patients have received very low doses of stem cells in trials designed to test the safety of the procedure. BBC © 2011

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: 15754 - Posted: 09.01.2011

By LISA TUCKER I was in a neurologist’s office to discuss the results of my brain scan. For the past month and a half, I’d had headaches that felt as if my skull was underwater, punctuated by frequent electric jolts through the right side of my brain. Two CT scans and an M.R.I. had revealed nothing. All the drug treatments tried by my doctor had failed to change me back into myself. But the new test, magnetic resonance angiography, had uncovered something. “You have a cerebral aneurysm,” the neurologist announced. “It’s small. You’ll have to see a neurosurgeon, but it probably won’t require surgery.” He handed me a card for a specialist at a stroke and vascular center. I took the card, though I was focused on the headaches. At least we had a cause for them now, I thought — until he explained that my aneurysm was an “incidental finding.” “It has nothing to do with the pain you’ve been experiencing,” said the neurologist. He offered me another drug. Multiple Google searches later, I understood what he meant. Most experts think that small aneurysms do not cause any symptoms unless they are about to rupture. Even more surprising, given the fear the word “aneurysm” strikes in patients with new diagnoses and their families, is that many small unruptured aneurysms are not treated. © 2011 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: 15705 - Posted: 08.23.2011

By PAM BELLUCK People in a large area of the American South have long been known to have more strokes and to be more likely to die from them than people living elsewhere in the country. Now, a large national study suggests the so-called stroke belt may have another troubling health distinction. Researchers have found that Southerners there also are more likely to experience a decline in cognitive ability over several years — specifically, problems with memory and orientation. The differences to date in the continuing study are not large: Of nearly 24,000 participants, 1,090 in eight stroke-belt states showed signs of cognitive decline after four years, compared with 847 people in 40 other states. But the geographic difference persisted even after the researchers adjusted for factors — like age, sex, race and education — that might influence the result. The most recent data from the study were published in Annals of Neurology. None of the people with cognitive decline in the study had had detectable strokes. But some experts believe their memory problems and other mental issues could be related to the same underlying risk factors, including lifestyle patterns that contribute to hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes and obesity. Is it the fried food beloved by Southerners? Limited access to doctors? Too little exercise? Researchers are investigating those and other possible causes. Some experts also suggest that the participants could have had small, undetectable strokes that subtly affected brain function. © 2011 The New York Times Company

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: 15528 - Posted: 07.05.2011

by Tim Wogan Atherosclerosis, the buildup of fatty deposits on the walls of major arteries, can kill without warning. The disease causes few symptoms in its early stages, so sufferers are often hit with a heart attack or stroke before they realize anything is wrong. Now researchers have devised a way to spot the deposits before they cause serious harm by using a combination of infrared light and ultrasound. To detect atherosclerosis early, doctors need to spot fat inside artery walls. They can glean some information by bombarding soft tissue (anything that's not bone) with infrared radiation from a laser, which passes through the tissue until it hits a specific chemical bond, causing it to vibrate like a spring. Different chemical bonds absorb infrared radiation of different wavelengths, so the radiation absorbed by a tissue sample can give doctors some clue to what's inside it. But to diagnose atherosclerosis, doctors not only need to know that tissue contains fat but also need to see that it's on the inside of an artery wall. In the new study, researchers took advantage of the fact that infrared-induced vibration of chemical bonds is swiftly damped by surrounding tissue; the energy is converted to heat. This leads to rapid expansion of the tissue, which sends a pressure wave traveling outward in all directions to the surface of the sample, where it is emitted as ultrasound. By using a series of detectors to pick up the ultrasound, the team realized that it could work out where the expansion took place—a technique called photoacoustic imaging. © 2010 American Association for the Advancement of Science

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: 15467 - Posted: 06.21.2011

About every 40 seconds, someone in the United States suffers a stroke, and more than 77 percent are first events. Although deaths due to strokes have declined, a stroke — caused by the sudden loss of blood flow to the brain or by bleeding in or around the brain, either of which can cause brain cells to die — can still have a staggering impact upon lives. New guidelines from the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association offer updated advice for preventing a first stroke. Lower your blood pressure High blood pressure damages arteries so they clog or burst more easily, escalating the risks of both types of stroke: ischemic, caused by blockage of a blood vessel that supplies part of the brain; and hemorrhagic, the less common but deadlier stroke that occurs when a blood vessel bursts inside the brain. Treatment to lower blood pressure, including lifestyle changes and medication, can reduce those risks by a third. l  Recommendations: Have your blood pressure checked at least once every two years, more often if you’re 50 or older. If your reading is high-normal — above 120/80 mmHg but below 140/90, the cutoff for hypertension — try to lower it by adopting the lifestyle measures listed below. If your reading is 140/90 or higher, talk with your doctor about adding an antihypertensive drug. Improve cholesterol levels LDL (bad) cholesterol, a fatty substance in the blood, builds up plaque on artery walls, causing arteries to narrow. If plaque ruptures, a blood clot can form and block a blood vessel to the brain, causing a stroke.

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 19: Language and Hemispheric Asymmetry
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Language and Our Divided Brain
Link ID: 15403 - Posted: 06.07.2011

Analysis by Marianne English Karen Butler woke up from dental surgery with an accent from a faraway place. After the anesthesia wore off, the Indiana-native-turned-Oregon-resident was perplexed to hear her American English suddenly shift to a hodgepodge of British, Irish and European pronunciations, according to a National Public Radio piece. Considering her speech change temporary, Butler's doctor suggested it would go away after the swelling in her mouth reduced. But the accent stayed well after she recovered. Doctors hypothesize Butler experienced a small stroke while under anesthesia, resulting in her developing foreign accent syndrome (FAS), a neurological disorder that alters the intonation and pitch of a person's speech. To listeners, people with FAS sound like non-natives producing another culture's take on a given language. But evidence suggests the ears of others might make new pronunciations seem more foreign than they really are. In essence, a woman with FAS who seems to speak English in a Scottish accent is unlikely to sound so to linguists. It's also false to assume someone with FAS suddenly knows a foreign language, as the condition has nothing to do with acquiring new languages, but rather modifying existing ones. © 2011 Discovery Communications, LLC

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 19: Language and Hemispheric Asymmetry
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Language and Our Divided Brain
Link ID: 15395 - Posted: 06.04.2011

By ABIGAIL ZUGER, M.D. On a fall afternoon in 1988, Jon Sarkin, a 35-year-old Massachusetts chiropractor, was happily playing the eighth hole on a local golf course when he felt something “twist” in his brain. Three days later he began to hear a high-pitched screech, a siren that only grew louder with the passing weeks. Doctors shrugged; a brain scan suggested a vague abnormality near a nerve at the base of the brain that controls hearing and balance. Eight months later, driven to distraction by the unceasing noise, Dr. Sarkin underwent a controversial operation to “decompress” the small vessels surrounding the nerve. The day after surgery — having woken up long enough to report that the noise had indeed stopped — he was rushed back to the operating room with a major stroke. He didn’t survive, not really, but he did live and slowly came to thrive, and on that tangled paradox Amy Ellis Nutt builds a tale. Ms. Nutt, a staff writer for The Star-Ledger in Newark, won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing for her detailed account of a shipwreck off the Jersey Shore. Now she has turned to a medical shipwreck in the person of Dr. Sarkin, whose story is both Hollywood-simple (Tom Cruise has, in fact, expressed interest) and dauntingly complex. The Jon Sarkin who emerged from the hospital months after his stroke bore little resemblance to his prior self. He was physically delicate and walked with a cane, but that was the least of it. His personality had morphed into a difficult teenager’s: self-centered, unreliable, obsessive. Bored, he began to doodle one day shortly after he returned home. Two decades later he is still doodling, but now as a full-fledged artist of some renown, having sold small drawings to publications like The New York Times Magazine and large pieces to private collectors for thousands of dollars. © 2011 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 19: Language and Hemispheric Asymmetry; Chapter 15: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Language and Our Divided Brain; Chapter 11: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Link ID: 15383 - Posted: 05.31.2011

By JAMIE STENGLE DALLAS — Women who enjoy a daily dose of coffee may like this perk: It might lower their risk of stroke. Women in a Swedish study who drank at least a cup of coffee everyday had a 22 to 25 percent lower risk of stroke, compared to those who drank less coffee or none at all. "Coffee drinkers should rejoice," said Dr. Sharonne N. Hayes, a cardiologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. "Coffee is often made out to be potentially bad for your heart. There really hasn't been any study that convincingly said coffee is bad." "If you are drinking coffee now, you may be doing some good and you are likely not doing harm," she added. But Hayes and other doctors say the study shouldn't send non-coffee drinkers running to their local coffee shop. The study doesn't prove that coffee lowers stroke risk, only that coffee drinkers tend to have a lower stroke risk. "These sorts of epidemiological studies are compelling but they don't prove cause," said Dr. David S. Seres, director of medical nutrition at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York. The findings were published online Thursday in the American Heart Association journal Stroke. Copyright 2011 The Associated Press

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology; Chapter 19: Language and Hemispheric Asymmetry
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology; Chapter 15: Language and Our Divided Brain
Link ID: 15096 - Posted: 03.11.2011

By Tina Hesman Saey A naturally occurring genetic variant may predict who will do well after a stroke and who won’t. People who have two copies of a particular version of the Tp53 gene have a poor prognosis after stroke and brain hemorrhages, researchers in Spain report online February 28 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine. The difference between the two versions of the gene amounts to one small change: swapping proline out for arginine as the 72nd link in a chain of amino acids that make up a protein called p53. The arginine-containing variant of p53 had previously been shown to help protect against cancer by increasing apoptosis, a cell suicide program that gets rid of damaged cells before they can turn nasty. Brain cells can also undergo apoptosis after a stroke, but there it’s a bad thing, leading to more widespread damage. Angeles Almeida, a molecular biologist at the University Hospital of Salamanca, and her colleagues wanted to know if the variant works as vigorously in the brain as in cancer cells, so they tested nerve cells that make either the arginine variant or the proline version. “We saw that the difference was huge,” Almeida says. Cells with the arginine version of p53 had four times greater capacity to undergo apoptosis than cells with the proline variant did. And that molecular difference carries over into consequences for the whole brain. The researchers tested the DNA of stroke and brain hemorrhage victims to see if the version of p53 the people carried could affect their prognosis. The variant did not affect the chance of having a stroke or brain hemorrhage, but did correlate with how well patients had recovered three months after the brain injuries, the team found. © Society for Science & the Public 2000 - 2011

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 19: Language and Hemispheric Asymmetry
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Language and Our Divided Brain
Link ID: 15063 - Posted: 03.03.2011

High levels of cholesterol do not predict the risk of stroke in women, according to researchers in Denmark. They did detect an increased risk in men, but only when cholesterol was at almost twice the average level. The report in Annals of Neurology recommends using a different type of fat in the blood, non-fasting triglycerides, to measure the risk. The Stroke Association said triglyceride tests needed to become routine to reduce the risk of stroke. A total of 150,000 people have a stroke in the UK each year. Most are ischemic strokes, in which a clot in an artery disrupts the brain's blood supply. The research followed 13,951 men and women, who took part in the Copenhagen City Heart Study. During the 33-year study, 837 men and 837 women had strokes. They reported that the cholesterol levels in women were not associated with stroke, while there was only an association in men with levels higher than 9mmol/litre. The average in UK men is 5.5. BBC © MMXI

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 19: Language and Hemispheric Asymmetry; Chapter 13: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Language and Our Divided Brain; Chapter 9: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Link ID: 15032 - Posted: 02.21.2011

By MARC E. AGRONIN, M.D. The woman described the sensation as a delicate flicker, like a moth trapped in a small gauze bag. She ran her slender fingers repeatedly over the spot in her slightly distended abdomen and said, “Doctor, right here.” Sometimes, she told me, the flicker gave way to a more forceful kick that rippled beneath her hand and then spread like a warm tide over her body. She felt contented and soothed as she imagined the baby growing inside. I was tempted to smile, but I kept still. An actual pregnancy would have been international news: the woman was 83 years old, recovering from a hip fracture and pneumonia. But her delusion was not unique. Indeed, our nursing home was having something of a baby boom. Just the day before, another woman who had recently suffered a stroke insisted that she had given birth to twin boys, who were now crying in the adjacent nursery. I reminded her that she was 90, but my words were no match for the force of her belief. She looked at me blankly and called again for her babies. Her husband, distraught, begged me to consider some pharmacologic remedy. But I was struck not by any mental suffering on the woman’s part, but by the opposite. In the face of terrible losses and confusion, her mind had found refuge in imaginary children. Their coos and cries brought comfort and hope. © 2011 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 19: Language and Hemispheric Asymmetry; Chapter 18: Attention and Higher Cognition
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Language and Our Divided Brain; Chapter 14: Attention and Consciousness
Link ID: 15006 - Posted: 02.15.2011

Young and middle-aged Americans are experiencing a sharp rise in hospitalization for strokes, says a new study echoing Canadian research that this age group is at greater risk for heart disease than they were in the past. The U.S. numbers, reported Wednesday at an American Stroke Association conference in California, come from the first large U.S. -wide study of stroke hospitalizations broken down by age. Government researchers compared figures in 1994 and 1995 with those in 2006 and 2007. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention number show the sharpest increase - 51 per cent - was among men under the age of 35. Strokes rose among women in this age group, too, but not as fast -17 per cent. The Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation's 2010 annual report describes a similar problem in this country. It showed that between 1994 and 2005, rates of high blood pressure among Canadians in general skyrocketed by 77 per cent, while diabetes rose by 45 per cent and obesity by 18 per cent. It also said that more than 250,000 Canadians in their 20s and 30s had high blood pressure, making them the newest at-risk group. High blood pressure, diabetes and obesity increase a person's likelihood of suffering a stroke. The problem was worst among those aged 35 to 49. The prevalence of high blood pressure in that age group increased 127 per cent, diabetes by 64 per cent and obesity by 20 per cent. © CBC 2011

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 19: Language and Hemispheric Asymmetry; Chapter 13: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Language and Our Divided Brain; Chapter 9: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Link ID: 14982 - Posted: 02.10.2011

Mini-strokes are thought to be fairly fleeting, often lasting a few minutes, but experiments conducted at a neuroscience lab in British Columbia paint a picture of a more lasting effect. Symptoms of mini-strokes are gone within 24 hours and no apparent lingering effects although they do heighten a person's risk of full-blown stroke in the future. They're transient, as one might infer from their formal name, transient ischemic attack. They've come and gone. Now researchers have used transcranial magnetic stimulation to examine patterns of brain activity in 13 patients who had experienced TIAs 14 to 30 days earlier, and compared them to the brain activity of 13 healthy people. Lara Boyd, a neuroscientist with the Brain Research Centre at Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute and the University of British Columbia, said magnetic resonance imaging might or might not reveal a little damaged area or lesion in the brain after a TIA. "But we wondered if we could maybe detect something with neurophysiology, with electro-physiology, that has previously gone unnoticed," she said in an interview. The non-invasive method involves putting a pulse of electrical current into the brain; for example, it allows scientists to measure how much current is needed to cause a motor response, such as a muscle twitch. © CBC 2011

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 19: Language and Hemispheric Asymmetry
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Language and Our Divided Brain
Link ID: 14928 - Posted: 01.29.2011

Cooling the brain of patients who have suffered a stroke could dramatically improve their recovery, a group of Scottish doctors has said. They are joining others from across Europe who believe that inducing hypothermia in some patients can boost survival rates and reduce brain damage. Similar techniques have already been tried successfully on heart attack patients and those with birth injuries. Scientists are in Brussels to discuss a Europe-wide trial of the technique. To date, studies have involved the body of patients being cooled using ice cold intravenous drips and cooling pads applied to the skin. This lowers the body temperature to about 35C, just a couple of degrees below its normal level. The technique puts the body into a state of artificial hibernation, where the brain can survive with less blood supply, giving doctors vital time to treat blocked or burst blood vessels. Dr Malcolm Macleod, head of experimental neuroscience at the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences at the University of Edinburgh, said: "Every day 1,000 Europeans die from stroke - that's one every 90 seconds - and about twice that number survive but are disabled. BBC © MMXI

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 19: Language and Hemispheric Asymmetry
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Language and Our Divided Brain
Link ID: 14910 - Posted: 01.24.2011

Giving stroke patients Prozac soon after the event could help their recovery from paralysis, a study has found. Researchers discovered more improvement in movement and greater independence after three months in patients taking the antidepressant (also known as fluoxetine), compared to placebo. The Lancet Neurology study was based on research on 118 patients in France. UK stroke experts said the findings were "promising". This was the largest study of selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and stroke recovery to date. Tests on stroke patients 90 days after being given the drug found that patients taking fluoxetine had gained significantly more function in their upper and lower limbs than patients who were not given the drug. Patients in the fluoxetine group were also more likely to be coping independently. All patients in the study had moderate to severe motor disabilities following their stroke. The study noted that the side-effects from the antidepressant were generally mild and infrequent, although this group did notice more instances of nausea and diarrhoea. BBC © MMXI

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: 14850 - Posted: 01.10.2011

By Rachael Rettner Too much fried fish may contribute to the high rate of stroke in America's "stroke belt," according to a new study. The results showed that people living in the stroke belt — including residents of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas and Louisiana — were about 30 percent more likely to eat two or more servings of fried fish every week than those living in the rest of the country, the researchers said. And blacks who are known to have an increased risk of stroke regardless of where they live, were more than 3.5 times more likely to eat two or more servings of fried fish per week than whites. Inhabitants of the stroke belt are 20 percent more likely to die from stroke than those living in the rest of the country. And those in the stroke "buckle" — an area of the stroke belt that includes the coastal plains of North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia — are 40 percent more likely to die from stroke, said study researcher Fadi Nahab of Emory University in Atlanta. Fried fish, Nahab said, may be contributing to these racial and geographic disparities. MyHealthNewsDaily Copyright © 2010.

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 13: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment; Chapter 19: Language and Hemispheric Asymmetry
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 9: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment; Chapter 15: Language and Our Divided Brain
Link ID: 14821 - Posted: 12.27.2010

By Garrison Keillor People keep asking about my stroke. I am okay, really--not staggering around with one arm hanging limp, or glassy-eyed or slurring my speech, flecks of spittle on my lips. And yet people still say, "How are you doing?" in that special way that means, "Tell us the painful truth and feel free to cry." Really, it was only a minor stroke, but I will tell about it one last time and then let's move on to something interesting--such as sex or sweet corn or the Rapture--and I will never discuss this again. Thank you for your patience. It happened on Labor Day, 2009, in Minneapolis, at a massage studio (the kind with the Japanese prints and the Peruvian flute music and the careful placement of the towel of modesty). I lay on my belly under the hands of the powerful Jamaican masseuse, Angelica, who was working on my neck and shoulders and telling me how good her life had been since she turned it over to the Lord Jesus Christ and let Him make all the decisions. "Including what to eat?" I asked. Yes, she said. I started to say something witty about honey and locusts and whoa my mouth was numb, my speech slurred. My brain was melting. I heisted up on my elbows. I took a deep breath. She said, "Are you okay?" I said (as I was brought up to say), "I am just fine." ©2010 Rodale Inc.

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 19: Language and Hemispheric Asymmetry
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Language and Our Divided Brain
Link ID: 14777 - Posted: 12.14.2010

By Laura Sanders SAN DIEGO — In the two-hour window after a stroke, flicking a single whisker completely prevents many damaging effects in a rat, a new study finds. The cheap, simple intervention, described November 15 at a news conference at the annual Society for Neuroscience meeting, may represent a new way to minimize disability after a stroke. “I think it’s one of the most profound findings that have come along in recent years,” said neuroscientist Carol Barnes of the University of Arizona in Tucson. “There is no brain damage. It’s almost a miracle. It’s almost too good to be true. Any protection would be good, but this is more than dramatic.” Researchers led by Ron Frostig of the University of California, Irvine mimicked a stroke by severing a major blood vessel in rats’ brains. Then at times during the two hours immediately afterward, a mechanical rod stimulated a single whisker on the anesthetized rat for a total of less than five minutes. With whisker stimulation, the team saw that blood began to flow backward through the severed vessel and got rerouted through other vessels, ultimately reaching the brain area that would have been deprived of blood. No such rerouting was present in rats that didn’t have a whisker stimulated, or in rats that had whisker stimulation more than two hours after the stroke. The team’s preliminary data suggest that the method works for conscious rats, too. © Society for Science & the Public 2000 - 2010

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 19: Language and Hemispheric Asymmetry
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Language and Our Divided Brain
Link ID: 14686 - Posted: 11.17.2010