Links for Keyword: Stroke

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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

Helen Thomson, biomedical news editor, San Diego This weekend I was shown how a virtual reality piano has helped people who have had a stroke regain movement in their limbs. This game, and others like it, aid the functional reorganisation of the brain and could pave the way for faster improvements in stroke therapy. Soha Saleh, at the New Jersey Institute of Techonology, and colleagues used a robotic glove, together with various video games, to train four volunteers who had suffered stroke and lost near-total movement of their upper limbs. The four subjects were trained for 3 hours a day over 8 days. Each training session involved making finger and hand movements with the aid of a robotic glove which gave a small amount of support to volunteers' mobility, such as holding groups of fingers together so that the volunteer could concentrate on moving just one. The volunteers were instructed on what movements to perform by playing computer games involving stacking items on a shelf or playing tunes on a piano. Their movements were transmitted into the video game to provide immediate visual feedback. The subjects were tested for breadth of movement and questioned on their ability to perform everyday tasks before and after the training sessions. All four participants showed improvements in movement after the task, with an average improvement of 24 per cent in tasks such as reaching for ones nose. © Copyright Reed Business Information Ltd.

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 19: Language and Hemispheric Asymmetry
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Language and Our Divided Brain
Link ID: 14677 - Posted: 11.16.2010

Taking vitamin E could slightly increase the risk of a particular type of stroke, a study says. The British Medical Journal study found that for every 1,250 people there is the chance of one extra haemorrhagic stroke - bleeding in the brain. Researchers from France, Germany and the US studied nine previous trials and nearly 119,000 people. But the level at which vitamin E becomes harmful is still unknown, experts say. The study was carried out at Harvard Medical School, Boston, and INSERM in Paris. Haemorrhagic strokes are the least common type and occur when a weakened blood vessel supplying the brain ruptures and causes brain damage. Researchers found that vitamin E increased the risk of this kind of stroke by 22%. The study also found that vitamin E could actually cut the risk of ischaemic strokes - the most common type of stroke - by 10%. Ischaemic strokes account for 70% of all cases and happen when a blood clot prevents blood reaching the brain. Experts found vitamin E could cut the risk, equivalent to one ischaemic stroke prevented per 476 people taking the vitamin. BBC © MMX

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 19: Language and Hemispheric Asymmetry
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Language and Our Divided Brain
Link ID: 14632 - Posted: 11.06.2010

by Karen Heyman One-third of stroke survivors never recover enough brain function to live on their own. Now scientists think they know why. Once a stroke kills a swath of brain cells, a neurotransmitter known as GABA impairs the surviving, apparently healthy, brain tissue. Targeting GABA could help a stroke-afflicted brain better overcome its damage, the researchers suggest. When a stroke hits, physicians have few options. If they catch it early enough, they can administer the clot-busting drug tPA to keep even more brain cells from dying—but tPA is not appropriate for all types of stroke. Physicians can also prescribe physical therapy, which can occasionally help recover impaired motor function. Yet there are no approved drugs that help the brain heal. For its part, the brain appears to try a sort of natural drug therapy to limit the spread of damage. It releases extra amounts of GABA, which reduces the firing of neurons. GABA initially prevents stroke-damaged brain tissue from becoming overexcited and dying. But University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), investigators led by Thomas Carmichael, a specialist in stroke, and Istvan Mody, an expert in inhibition, wondered whether GABA might also interfere with the brain's plasticity, the ability of healthy regions to take over for injured ones. Previous studies had tried to address this question, but they produced confusing results. The UCLA team hypothesized that others had failed to distinguish between two types of inhibition—phasic, in which GABA acts upon specific receptors at nerve cell sites called synapses, and tonic, in which the neurotransmitter acts on other receptors elsewhere on the nerve cell. © 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: 14626 - Posted: 11.04.2010

By Nathan Seppa MRI scans of stroke patients can indicate when the stroke occurred, a revelation that could allow more aggressive treatment to limit brain damage, French researchers report online November 2 in Radiology. For a person arriving at a hospital with a stroke, the clock is ticking. When a clot obstructs an artery in the brain, millions of neurons are lost with each passing minute as tissue is starved of blood and oxygen. A clot-busting drug called tPA, or tissue plasminogen activator, can often dissolve the clot and free up the vessel. But the drug is generally considered safe to administer only in the first three to 4½ hours after a stroke begins (SN: 10/25/08, p. 16). Stoke patients typically get a CT scan, which enables doctors to discern whether the stroke results from a blood clot or, less commonly, from a hemorrhage, which shows up as a dark mass on the CT, says neurologist Andrew Barreto of the University of Texas Medical School at Houston. MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, is used much less often and usually only at large medical centers. Unfortunately, a CT scan cannot pinpoint when a stroke began. Neither can many patients, either because they can’t recall exactly when their symptoms first appeared or because they woke up already in the throes of a stroke. In such cases, doctors “guesstimate” the stroke’s onset, Barreto says, but hesitate to give tPA if too many hours might have passed. Giving tPA too late won’t help tissue that’s already dead and risks causing a brain bleed. After the tPA window closes there is little doctors can do but monitor the patient. © Society for Science & the Public 2000 - 2010

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: 14625 - Posted: 11.04.2010

Nicole Baute Living Reporter Stroke victims are 12 per cent more likely to die within seven days if they arrive at the hospital on the weekend, according to a study of more than 20,000 Ontario patients. The study, published today in Neurology, found that patients received the same major interventions — brain scans, clot-busting medications and admission to stroke units — regardless of when they were admitted. Dr. Moira Kapral, a researcher at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences and one of the study’s authors, says it is possible that the weekend effect is caused by “an accumulation of small deficiencies in care” — including secondary treatment that is nonetheless crucial for recovery. For example, she says, there might be fewer or less-experienced staff working on the weekends. Or patients might experience delays in access to rehabilitation experts, such as physiotherapists who help stroke patients regain mobility or speech pathologists who do swallowing assessments to determine whether or not it’s safe to eat. Further research is necessary to examine these possibilities. In the meantime, says Kapral, health-care administrators should try to determine what is causing the increased mortality gap. “I think hospitals should really look at their weekend practices in terms of staffing and resources to see if there are things that can be done to improve care on weekends.” © Copyright Toronto Star 1996-2010

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 19: Language and Hemispheric Asymmetry
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Language and Our Divided Brain
Link ID: 14620 - Posted: 11.04.2010

A new stroke prevention clinic in Ottawa is helping patients treated for mini-strokes from developing the full-blown version, doctors report. A transient ischemic attack, or TIA, is a mild stroke that causes stroke symptoms such as sudden numbness of the face, arm or leg. The symptoms last for less than 24 hours and then resolve on their own without disabling neurological effects, but it is a marker for early risk of stroke. At the Ottawa Hospital Stroke Clinic, patients with TIA symptoms are quickly assessed in the emergency department (ED) and referred to the stroke clinic for brain imaging, medication adjustment, counselling about stroke risk factors and surgery in some cases. Dr. Mukul Sharma, deputy director of the Canadian Stroke Network, and his co-authors found that 3.2 per cent of people who experienced TIA at the stroke prevention clinic developed a full-blown stroke within 90 days, compared with about 10 per cent at other centres. "The beauty of this is that we added very few staff," said Sharma, lead author of the study in the November issue of the journal Stroke, and director of The Ottawa Hospital Stroke Clinic. A booking clerk was one of the few staff that was added as part of the program. "It really is that ability to juggle bookings and the acuity of the visit that I think make this process work. I've likened it to getting an orchestra playing the same tune." © CBC 2010

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 19: Language and Hemispheric Asymmetry
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Language and Our Divided Brain
Link ID: 14608 - Posted: 10.30.2010

Lauran Neergaard, Associated Press - When her stroke hit, Edna Wooten somehow stopped her car. Then her daughter ignored her slurred protests and raced her to the hospital - in time for a drug to dissolve the blood clot causing her stroke. Wooten was lucky: Too few stroke sufferers get that clot-busting treatment, especially black and Latino patients who are at highest risk of having a stroke and also may be hesitant to seek fast care. New research is targeting those underserved populations to better spread the word that "time is brain" - the faster you move, the more brain you save. "We basically scare people so much about stroke, it motivates them to denial," says Dr. Lewis Morgenstern of the University of Michigan, an expert on stroke disparities. "What we haven't done a good job of is telling people there is an effective treatment, that people are in control of their own destiny." That was the message that stroke educator Shauna St. Clair of Georgetown University took to a senior center in a predominantly black neighborhood in Washington last week, part of a project funded by the National Institutes of Health. "Damaged brain cells we can fix. That's why we want you to get treatment as soon as possible," St. Clair told the rapt group. "If they stay damaged, they die." © 2010 Hearst Communications Inc.

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 19: Language and Hemispheric Asymmetry
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Language and Our Divided Brain
Link ID: 14555 - Posted: 10.14.2010

By Nathan Seppa The dismal range of options for treating a stroke might be improving. Scientists report that neutralizing an enzyme called NOX4 that shows up in stroke-damaged tissues can limit brain injury in mice. The study appears in the September PLoS Biology. Stroke treatment is often hampered because the primary available drug, a clot-buster called tPA, is effective only within three hours of a stroke’s onset; many strokes are not detected until after that window has closed. Knowing the molecular culprits involved in brain tissue damage caused by a stroke might give scientists another angle to exploit as they seek treatments, says Harald Schmidt, a physician and pharmacologist at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. To that end, Schmidt teamed with an international group of scientists to study the role of NOX4, a member of an enzyme family that makes free radicals — highly reactive molecules that can kill cells and contribute to tissue damage. The researchers induced strokes in mice by threading a filament up an artery into the brain to a point at which it obstructed the vessel. In a series of experiments, the scientists found that mice genetically engineered to lack the NOX4 enzyme showed substantially less damage from these strokes than mice making NOX4. In other tests, normal mice with the ability make the NOX enzymes fared better against strokes when given an experimental drug that neutralized NOX4 than did mice not receiving the drug. © Society for Science & the Public 2000 - 2010

Related chapters from BP7e: Chapter 1: Biological Psychology: Scope and Outlook; Chapter 19: Language and Hemispheric Asymmetry
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 1: An Introduction to Brain and Behavior; Chapter 15: Language and Our Divided Brain
Link ID: 14483 - Posted: 09.23.2010