Links for Keyword: Stroke

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or subscribe to our mailing list, to receive news updates. Learn more.


Links 1 - 20 of 359

Nicola Davis A low level of alcohol consumption does not protect against stroke, new research suggests, in the latest blow to the idea that a few drinks can be beneficial to health. At least 100,000 people have strokes in the UK every year, according to recent figures. It had been thought that low levels of alcohol consumption might have a protective effect against stroke, as well as other diseases and conditions. Now researchers say that in the case of stroke, even low levels of alcohol consumption are bad news. “Moderate drinking of about one or two drinks a day does not protect against stroke,” said Dr Iona Millwood, co-author of the study from the University of Oxford. Advertisement The results chime with a major study released last year which concluded there is no healthy level of drinking. Writing in the Lancet, researchers from the UK and China described how they examined the impact of alcohol on stroke using a type of natural experiment. About a third of people from east Asia have genetic variants that affect the way alcohol is broken down in the body, which can make drinking an unpleasant experience and lead to flushed skin. People with these genetic variants are known to drink less – a situation confirmed by the latest study – but who has these genetic variants is random, meaning they can appear in people regardless of their social situation or health. As a result, the team were able to look at the impact of drinking on the risk of stroke without many of the other issues that can muddy the waters. © 2019 Guardian News & Media Limited

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 19: Language and Lateralization; Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Brain Asymmetry, Spatial Cognition, and Language; Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
Link ID: 26118 - Posted: 04.06.2019

By Emilia Clarke Just when all my childhood dreams seemed to have come true, I nearly lost my mind and then my life. I’ve never told this story publicly, but now it’s time. It was the beginning of 2011. I had just finished filming the first season of “Game of Thrones,” a new HBO series based on George R. R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” novels. With almost no professional experience behind me, I’d been given the role of Daenerys Targaryen, also known as Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Lady of Dragonstone, Breaker of Chains, Mother of Dragons. As a young princess, Daenerys is sold in marriage to a musclebound Dothraki warlord named Khal Drogo. It’s a long story—eight seasons long—but suffice to say that she grows in stature and in strength. She becomes a figure of power and self-possession. Before long, young girls would dress in platinum wigs and flowing robes to be Daenerys Targaryen for Halloween. The show’s creators, David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, have said that my character is a blend of Napoleon, Joan of Arc, and Lawrence of Arabia. And yet, in the weeks after we finished shooting the first season, despite all the looming excitement of a publicity campaign and the series première, I hardly felt like a conquering spirit. I was terrified. Terrified of the attention, terrified of a business I barely understood, terrified of trying to make good on the faith that the creators of “Thrones” had put in me. I felt, in every way, exposed. In the very first episode, I appeared naked, and, from that first press junket onward, I always got the same question: some variation of “You play such a strong woman, and yet you take off your clothes. Why?” In my head, I’d respond, “How many men do I need to kill to prove myself?” © 2019 Condé Nast

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 19: Language and Lateralization
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Brain Asymmetry, Spatial Cognition, and Language
Link ID: 26068 - Posted: 03.23.2019

Aimee Cunningham How active a person’s immune system is soon after a stroke may be tied to later mental declines, a new study finds. Researchers took blood samples from 24 stroke patients up to nine times over the course of a year. Twelve of the patients also completed a mental-skills test at four points during that time. Patients who had highly active immune cells on the second day after a stroke were more likely to see their test scores decline a year later, researchers report online March 12 in Brain. “The people who either got better on the task or stayed the same had less of an immune response at day 2 [after the stroke], and the people who had more of an immune response at day 2 were more likely to decline and do worse later,” says study coauthor Marion Buckwalter, a neuroscientist at Stanford University School of Medicine. A stroke occurs when the brain loses oxygen, due to a blocked or burst blood vessel. Buckwalter and her colleagues used a technique called mass cytometry that analyzes thousands of immune cells and their signaling molecules — which indicate how active a cell is — from blood samples of patients who had suffered a stroke. The researchers also tested patients’ memory, concentration, language skills and other thinking skills using the Montreal Cognitive Assessment. It’s unclear why some patients have a more active immune response than others in the days after a stroke. But with more research, it’s possible that the response may be a way to predict which patients will fare worse after a stroke, the researchers say. |© Society for Science & the Public 2000 - 2019

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 19: Language and Lateralization; Chapter 15: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Brain Asymmetry, Spatial Cognition, and Language; Chapter 11: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Link ID: 26026 - Posted: 03.13.2019

By Karen Weintraub A widely criticized experiment last year saw a researcher in China delete a gene in twin girls at the embryonic stage in an attempt to protect them from HIV. A new study suggests that using a drug to delete the same gene in people with stroke or traumatic brain injuries could help improve their recovery. The new work shows the benefits of turning off the gene in stroke-induced mice by using the drug, already approved as an HIV treatment. It also focuses on a sample of people who were naturally born without the gene. People without the gene recover faster and more completely from stroke than the general population does, the researchers found. The combined results suggest the drug might boost recovery in humans after a stroke or traumatic brain injury, says S. Thomas Carmichael, the study’s senior researcher and a neurologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, David Geffen School of Medicine. His team has started a follow-up human study to test the drug’s efficacy. The combination of mouse research and leveraging of people’s genetic data to confirm the relevance of drug targets makes the new research a “landmark paper,” says Jin-Moo Lee, co-director of the Barnes–Jewish Hospital and Washington University Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center in Saint Louis who was not involved with the work. © 2019 Scientific American

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 19: Language and Lateralization
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Brain Asymmetry, Spatial Cognition, and Language
Link ID: 25981 - Posted: 02.22.2019

By Sam Rose One of neuroscience’s foundational experiments wasn’t performed in a Nobel laureate’s lab, but occurred in a railyard in 1848 when an accidental explosion sent a tamping iron through 25 year-old Phineas Gage’s forehead. Gage survived, but those studying his history detailed distinct personality changes resulting from the accident. He went from even-tempered to impulsive and profane. The case is likely the earliest—and most famous—of using a “lesion” to link a damaged brain region to its function. In the ensuing decades, to study the brain was to study lesions. Lesion cases fed most of the era’s knowledge of the brain. One might think that modern neuroscience, with its immense toolkit of experimental techniques, no longer needs lesions like Gage’s to parse the brain’s inner workings. Lesion studies, though, seem to be having a revival. A new method called lesion network mapping is clearing the cobwebs off the lesion study and uniting it with modern brain connectivity data. The results are revealing surprising associations between brain regions and disorders. Thankfully, most lesions aren’t a tamping iron through the forehead. Strokes, hemorrhages, or tumors make up most lesion cases. 19th century neurologists like Paul Broca made foundational discoveries by studying patients with peculiar symptoms resulting from these common neurological insults. Broca and his contemporaries synthesized a theory of the brain from lesions: that the brain is segmented. Different regions control different functions. Lesion studies lend a lawyerly logic to the brain: if region X is destroyed and function Y no longer occurs, then region X must control function Y. Advertisement © 2018 Scientific American,

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 19: Language and Lateralization; Chapter 18: Attention and Higher Cognition
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Brain Asymmetry, Spatial Cognition, and Language; Chapter 14: Attention and Consciousness
Link ID: 25626 - Posted: 10.31.2018

By Diana Kwon In an ischemic stroke a clot blocks a blood vessel to the brain, depriving oxygen and nutrients to part of the crucial organ. Without immediate treatment this can cause irreversible tissue damage, leading to complications ranging from behavioral changes to paralysis. Stroke is the fifth-highest cause of death in the U.S., and the leading cause of long-term disability. Ischemic strokes are the most common type, accounting for more than 80 percent of all cases. Until recently the only treatment available for ischemic stroke was tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, a protein that can dissolve blood clots if injected up to four and a half hours after stroke onset. Care has improved dramatically in the last few years as advances in thrombectomy—surgical clot removal—have allowed doctors to clear larger blockages and treat patients up to 24 hours after symptoms began. Even after successful clot removal, however, the rush of blood back into the brain and the dying tissue left behind can lead to additional complications such as inflammation. To address this problem, researchers have been searching for more than 30 years for drugs that could protect the brain from damage after an ischemic stroke. More than a thousand compounds have been investigated in animal studies, and many have made it to clinical trials in people—with little success. “It’s been very disappointing for me and hundreds of other investigators that everything seems to work in animals and nothing works in humans,” says Susan Fagan, a clinical pharmacologist at The University of Georgia. “Neuroprotection is a hard nut to crack.” © 2018 Scientific American

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 19: Language and Lateralization; Chapter 15: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Brain Asymmetry, Spatial Cognition, and Language; Chapter 11: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Link ID: 25088 - Posted: 06.14.2018

By Lauren Waldron, M.D. I was on a camping trip in Jackson Hole with my cousins at 4 years old when I realized there was something different about me. We were climbing a tree and I saw that, unlike me, my cousins used both hands to navigate its branches. Because I had a stroke when I was 8 months old, the right side of my body is hypertonic, meaning it does not move easily. I got stuck in the tree (as usual), and my mom had to come to get me down. As my cousins hopped out of the tree without difficulty and ran off, a question came to me. I asked my mom, for the first time, “Mommy, do all kids have a stroke when they are babies?” A pause. “No, sweetheart. They don’t.” What had moments before been a benign fact of my existence suddenly became a frustrating impediment. I was angry that my right arm and leg were always stuck when I wanted to move them. It was not fair. “Can I not have a stroke?” I asked. “I don’t want it.” My parents had never been secretive about my stroke. My earliest memories include my parents telling me that when I was a baby a blood vessel in my brain had broken and bled. The bleeding had damaged a part of the left side of my brain called the left internal capsule, which helps to control movement on the right side of my body. That was why my right fingers didn’t move, why my right arm was stiff, why I wore a leg brace, and why I went to physical therapy. But until that day in the tree, I never thought that having a blood vessel bleed in my brain made me different. Twenty-three years later, as a medical student at Temple University, I stood in a pediatric exam room listening to my attending speak to our patient’s mother. He was describing motor deficits the 2-year-old would likely experience after surgeons removed the part of her brain causing her seizures. © 2018 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 19: Language and Lateralization
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Brain Asymmetry, Spatial Cognition, and Language
Link ID: 25066 - Posted: 06.07.2018

Sheryl Ubelacker · A little over a year ago, Julie Tomaino had a stroke that affected both sides of her brain, leaving her "locked in" — conscious but unable to speak or move — for about 10 days. The former professional dancer who works in theatre directing and choreographing plays was just 38 years old. "I couldn't respond to anything and I could just move my eyeballs," the Toronto resident recalled Monday from Vancouver Island, where she is in rehearsals for a production of the musical Grease. Tomaino had been having daily headaches for two weeks and knew there was something seriously wrong. But after examining her earlier that day at the hospital, doctors had sent her home with a diagnosis of migraine and anxiety. That evening, she started vomiting uncontrollably and began experiencing double vision. Her husband called an ambulance and she remembers being put into the vehicle. "And then it's all black for 12 hours." Tomaino had suffered a major stroke, the result of the inner carotid arteries on both sides of her neck dissecting, or tearing, which caused blood to pool in the vessels and send clots to her brain. While stroke at her age isn't all that common — the average female victim is close to four decades older — her story illustrates a message the Heart and Stroke Foundation is trying to bring to public awareness with a report released Tuesday showing how stroke can affect women differently than men. ©2018 CBC/Radio-Canada

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 19: Language and Lateralization; Chapter 12: Sex: Evolutionary, Hormonal, and Neural Bases
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Brain Asymmetry, Spatial Cognition, and Language; Chapter 8: Hormones and Sex
Link ID: 25058 - Posted: 06.05.2018

By NICHOLAS BAKALAR Taking saunas may reduce the risk for stroke. Researchers studied 1,628 men and women aged 53 to 74, free of stroke at the start. They had data on body mass index, alcohol consumption, smoking, blood pressure, blood lipid levels, and other health and behavioral characteristics that affect cardiovascular health. The participants reported how often they took traditional Finnish saunas and how long they stayed in the sauna, and the researchers followed them for an average of 15 years. There were 155 strokes over the period. The study is in the journal Neurology. After adjusting for other variables, they found that compared with people who took saunas once a week, those who took them two to three times weekly were 12 percent less likely to have a stroke. People who took saunas four to seven times a week reduced their risk for stroke by 62 percent. Although the researchers found a strong effect independent of other variables, the study was observational and cannot prove causality. Still, there are plausible reasons saunas might be protective. “Temperature increases, even of 1 or 2 degrees Celsius, can limit inflammatory processes in the body and reduce arterial stiffness,” said the senior author, Dr. Jari A. Laukkanen, a professor of medicine at the University of Eastern Finland. “It’s possible that steam rooms or hot tubs could produce similar results.” © 2018 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 19: Language and Lateralization
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Brain Asymmetry, Spatial Cognition, and Language
Link ID: 24934 - Posted: 05.03.2018

by Kevin Sheth Recently, I cared for an 82-year-old grandfather who was having some trouble opening a jar of jelly. Twenty minutes later, the fork he was using fell out of his hand. Feeling tired, he laid down, and on waking four hours later, he and his wife discovered that his arm was flaccid. That’s when they called 911 and he was taken to a local hospital. The hospital wasn’t a specialized stroke center and transferred him to Yale New Haven Hospital, where I work and where he arrived two hours after his original emergency response call — and almost seven hours from when his symptoms first started. That was too late to prevent permanent disability. As a neurologist, every single day I am left unable to help victims of stroke, despite an effective treatment in hand, simply because they arrived too late. The blood clots in the brain that cause strokes irreversibly change who we are and burden our families. Strokes strike nearly 800,000 Americans each year, killing 140,000 and at a cost to society of $34 billion annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For over two decades, neurologists and emergency providers have had a drug available that can restore blood flow to the brain, limiting damage, but only 4 percent of stroke patients receive the medication. The drug, known as tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), is a potent blood thinner and was approved as an effective clot-busting treatment by the Food and Drug Administration in 1996. The rub is that patients must receive the medication in the first few hours after experiencing a stroke for it to work. © 1996-2018 The Washington Post

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 19: Language and Lateralization
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Brain Asymmetry, Spatial Cognition, and Language
Link ID: 24841 - Posted: 04.09.2018

By Melissa Healy Despite years of effort, researchers have so far failed to find a pill you could take or a food you could eat to harden your brain against the injury that could be caused by a stroke. But new research offers the prospect of limiting a stroke's long-term damage in a different way: with a drug that enhances the brain's ability to rewire itself and promote recovery in the weeks and months after injury. In experiments, both mice and macaque monkeys that suffered strokes regained more movement and dexterity when their rehabilitative regimen included an experimental medication called edonerpic maleate. The drug, which has already run a gauntlet of safety trials as a possible medication for Alzheimer's disease, appears to have enhanced the effectiveness of rehab by strengthening the connections between brain cells and nourishing the chemical soup in which those cells forge those new connections. A report on the experiments appears in Friday's edition of the journal Science. The work was conducted by researchers at Yokohama City University School of Medicine and employees of Toyama Chemical Co., Ltd., a Japanese pharmaceutical firm that owns intellectual property rights to edonerpic maleate. Toyama provided funding for Yokohama City University to study the drug in macaque monkeys. The findings from the mice shed important light on how edonerpic maleate may work in an injured brain.

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 19: Language and Lateralization; Chapter 17: Learning and Memory
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Brain Asymmetry, Spatial Cognition, and Language; Chapter 13: Memory, Learning, and Development
Link ID: 24835 - Posted: 04.07.2018

By GINA KOLATA It was one of those findings that would change medicine, Dr. Christopher Lewandowski thought. For years, doctors had tried — and failed — to find a treatment that would preserve the brains of stroke patients. The task was beginning to seem hopeless: Once a clot blocked a blood vessel supplying the brain, its cells quickly began to die. Patients and their families could only pray that the damage would not be too extensive. But then a large federal clinical trial proved that a so-called clot-buster drug, tissue plasminogen activator (T.P.A.), could prevent brain injury after a stroke by opening up the blocked vessel. Dr. Lewandowski, an emergency medicine physician at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit and the trial’s principal investigator, was ecstatic. “We felt the data was so strong we didn’t have to explain it” in the published report, he said. He was wrong. That groundbreaking clinical trial concluded 22 years ago, yet Dr. Lewandowski and others are still trying to explain the data to a powerful contingent of doubters. The skeptics teach medical students that T.P.A.is dangerous, causing brain hemorrhages, and that the studies that found a benefit were deeply flawed. Better to just let a stroke run its course, they say. It’s a perspective with real-world consequences. Close to 700,000 patients have strokes caused by blood clots each year and could be helped by T.P.A. Yet up to 30 percent of stroke victims who arrive at hospitals on time and are perfect candidates for the clot-buster do not receive it. The result: paralysis and muscle weakness; impaired cognition, speech or vision; emotional and behavioral dysfunction; and many other permanent neurological injuries. © 2018 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 19: Language and Lateralization
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Brain Asymmetry, Spatial Cognition, and Language
Link ID: 24789 - Posted: 03.27.2018

By Amina Zafar, Susan Caluori says a stroke saved her life. The 60-year-old Montreal woman had just run a half marathon in December 2015 when her husband noticed the left side of her face was drooping. She wanted to keep watching TV, but he insisted they go to the hospital. The doctors there treated her for a stroke, the facial droop, and she was discharged a week later. A couple of weeks passed, and she returned to the emergency department after becoming confused and disoriented and experiencing speech difficulties. It was then that doctors performed a series of tests that led them to identify a blood clot in one of her heart valves. With the help of a biopsy, they found the cause of the clot was a dangerous form of ovarian cancer. "The empress of subterfuge," her doctors called the cancer masquerading as a stroke. It turns out that it was the malignancy in her Fallopian tubes that was the source behind her drooping face and the mixed-up words that her kids had been teasing her about for two months prior to her emergency room visit. "The stroke saved my life. Yes, I have repercussions because of the strokes, but you know what, I'm alive because of them. If not [for them], they would have never have found the cancer," Caluori said. Caluori's presentation was so rare that her medical team wrote up the case report in a medical journal last year. "What alerted us to her having ovarian cancer is nothing in her abdomen or pelvis," said Dr. Ziggy Zeng, a gynecological oncologist at the McGill University Health Centre. "The disease is so cunning it presented itself with a clot." The ovarian cancer caused Caluori's blood to produce a clot that triggered the strokes, Zeng said. ©2018 CBC/Radio-Canada.

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 19: Language and Lateralization
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Brain Asymmetry, Spatial Cognition, and Language
Link ID: 24782 - Posted: 03.26.2018

Nicola Davis Adults who have experienced a stroke may one day be able to take a drug to help their brain “rewire” itself, so that tasks once carried out by now-damaged areas can be taken over by other regions, researchers have claimed. The ability for the brain to rewire, so-called “brain plasticity”, is thought to occur throughout life; however, while children have a high degree of brain plasticity, adult brains are generally thought to be less plastic. Research looking at children and young adults who had a stroke as a baby – a situation thought to affect at least one in 4,000 around the time of their birth – has highlighted the incredible ability of the young brain to rewire. Elissa Newport, a professor of neurology at Georgetown University school of medicine in Washington DC, detailed a new study involving 12 such individuals, aged between 12 and 25. “What you see is the right hemisphere, which is never in control of language in anyone who is healthy, is apparently capable of taking over language if you lose left hemisphere,” said Newport, who presented the findings at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Austin, Texas. “This does not happen in adults,” she added. © 2018 Guardian News and Media Limited

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 19: Language and Lateralization
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Brain Asymmetry, Spatial Cognition, and Language
Link ID: 24679 - Posted: 02.19.2018

Blood-thinning drugs may increase rather than cut the risk of stroke in some people over 65 who have an irregular heartbeat and also chronic kidney disease, according to a new study. The researchers are calling on doctors to be more cautious in prescribing the drugs, called anticoagulants, until there has been more research. Research led by scientists at University College London highlights the problems with polypharmacy – the use of multiple drugs for people with more than one health issue. Older people are especially likely to be on medication for more than one complaint. The researchers enrolled nearly 7,000 patients who had chronic kidney disease and were then diagnosed with atrial fibrillation – the most common form of irregular heartbeat. It affects at least 33.5 million people over the age of 55 worldwide and accounts for 1% of the NHS health budget in the UK. Chronic kidney disease is also common, says the paper in the British Medical Journal, affecting 10-15% of adults. A third also have atrial fibrillation. About half a million people in the UK have both conditions and could be prescribed blood-thinning drugs. The researchers monitored the participants, half of whom were on blood-thinning drugs and half not, for 506 days. They found those on the medication were 2.6 times as likely as those not on anticoagulants to have a stroke, and 2.4 times as likely to have a haemorrhage. There was not, however, an increased risk of death.

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 19: Language and Lateralization
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Brain Asymmetry, Spatial Cognition, and Language
Link ID: 24668 - Posted: 02.16.2018

Research into curious bright spots in the eyes on stroke patients’ brain images could one day alter the way these individuals are assessed and treated. A team of scientists at the National Institutes of Health found that a chemical routinely given to stroke patients undergoing brain scans can leak into their eyes, highlighting those areas and potentially providing insight into their strokes. The study was published in Neurology. “We were kind of astounded by this – it’s a very unrecognized phenomenon,” said Richard Leigh, M.D., an assistant clinical investigator at the NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and the paper’s senior author. “It raises the question of whether there is something we can observe in the eye that would help clinicians evaluate the severity of a stroke and guide us on how best to help patients.” The eyes glowed so brightly on those images due to gadolinium, a harmless, transparent chemical often given to patients during magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to highlight abnormalities in the brain. In healthy individuals, gadolinium remains in the blood stream and is filtered out by the kidneys. However, when someone has experienced damage to the blood-brain barrier, which controls whether substances in the blood can enter the brain, gadolinium leaks into the brain, creating bright spots that mark the location of brain damage. Previous research had shown that certain eye diseases could cause a similar disruption to the blood-ocular barrier, which does for the eye what the blood-brain barrier does for the brain. Dr. Leigh’s team discovered that a stroke can also compromise the blood-ocular barrier and that the gadolinium that leaked into a patient’s eyes could provide information about his or her stroke.

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 19: Language and Lateralization; Chapter 10: Vision: From Eye to Brain
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Brain Asymmetry, Spatial Cognition, and Language; Chapter 7: Vision: From Eye to Brain
Link ID: 24631 - Posted: 02.08.2018

By NICHOLAS BAKALAR Having migraine headaches increases the risk for cardiovascular diseases, a new study has found. Using the Danish National Patient Registry, researchers matched 51,032 people with migraines, 71 percent of them women, with 510,320 people in the general population without migraines. The subjects were, on average, age 35 at the start of the study, and researchers followed them for 19 years. The absolute risk for cardiovascular disease was small, unsurprising in a group this young. Nevertheless, after adjustment for other variables, over the course of the study people with migraines had a 49 percent increased chance of heart attack, and roughly double the risk of stroke. They also had a 59 percent increased risk of a blood clot in their veins. These risks were even higher in the first year after a migraine diagnosis. The observational study, in BMJ, found no association of migraine with peripheral artery disease or heart failure. “We now have accumulating evidence that migraine is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. It’s important to take it into consideration,” said the lead author, Dr. Kasper Adelborg, a postdoctoral researcher at Aarhus University. “And it’s important to find out if the agents that prevent migraine could also reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease.” © 2018 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 19: Language and Lateralization; Chapter 8: General Principles of Sensory Processing, Touch, and Pain
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Brain Asymmetry, Spatial Cognition, and Language; Chapter 5: The Sensorimotor System
Link ID: 24597 - Posted: 02.01.2018

Tim McDonnell Last April, Fredua Agyemang, a musician in Kumasi, Ghana, was performing onstage at a funeral, which in this country is often a festive affair with hundreds of guests. Suddenly, he began to feel dizzy, then lost consciousness and collapsed. When he woke up three days later, his bandmates broke the news: He had suffered a stroke. Immediately, he thought of another doctor visit eight years earlier, when, at the age of 34, he had been diagnosed with hypertension and prescribed medication to reduce his blood pressure. The medication had given him problems with erectile dysfunction, a common side effect, and he soon stopped taking it regularly. That decision seemed foolish, he recalls. He was having difficulty moving and speaking and knew that he wouldn't be back onstage anytime soon. "I still have weakness," he says, nine months later. "I'm not able to walk well, I can't use my left arm, I can't sing." Doctors found that Agyemang's stroke was hemorrhagic, meaning that a blood vessel in his brain burst from excessive pressure. In the U.S., this type of stroke is rare; nearly 90 percent of strokes in the U.S. are "ischemic," meaning they're caused by a clot or other blockage of a blood vessel in the brain. But according to a new study, the largest-ever of stroke patients in Africa, up to one-third of strokes in this area of the world are hemorrhagic. And while the survival rate for ischemic strokes is around 80 percent, for hemorrhagic strokes the odds of survival are only 50/50. Agyemang is lucky to be alive. © 2018 npr

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 19: Language and Lateralization
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Brain Asymmetry, Spatial Cognition, and Language
Link ID: 24584 - Posted: 01.29.2018

By Lenny Bernstein Advanced brain imaging technology may give doctors an additional 10 hours or more to respond to some strokes, researchers said Wednesday, a development that may soon bring major changes to the way hospitals treat one of the leading causes of disability and death. The research is upending doctors’ long-held belief that they have just six hours to save threatened brain tissue from lack of blood flow when a major vessel to the brain is blocked. The new findings suggest they may have as long as 16 hours in many cases; a study published three weeks ago with a different group of stroke victims put the outer limit at 24 hours for some. Both studies showed such dramatic results that they were cut short to speed up reporting of the information to physicians. In response to the studies, new stroke treatment guidelines were released Wednesday. “The big news is that we were all wrong in how we were thinking about how strokes evolve,” said Gregory W. Albers, a professor of neurology at Stanford University Medical Center and lead author of the new paper. While some brain tissue dies quickly after a stroke begins, in most patients, collateral blood vessels usually take over feeding a larger area of the brain that is also starved for blood and oxygen, giving doctors many more hours to save that tissue than they previously believed, Albers said. So the age-old medical belief that “time is brain” — that millions of neurons die each minute after a stroke — must be reconsidered, he said. “We are quadrupling the stroke treatment window today,” Albers said. “It’s going to have a massive impact on how stroke is triaged and assessed.” © 1996-2018 The Washington Post

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 19: Language and Lateralization
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Brain Asymmetry, Spatial Cognition, and Language
Link ID: 24568 - Posted: 01.25.2018

In the fight against brain damage caused by stroke, researchers have turned to an unlikely source of inspiration: hibernating ground squirrels. While the animals’ brains experience dramatically reduced blood flow during hibernation, just like human patients after a certain type of stroke, the squirrels emerge from their extended naps suffering no ill effects. Now, a team of NIH-funded scientists has identified a potential drug that could grant the same resilience to the brains of ischemic stroke patients by mimicking the cellular changes that protect the brains of those animals. The study was published in The FASEB Journal, the official journal of the Foundation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. “For decades scientists have been searching for an effective brain-protecting stroke therapy to no avail. If the compound identified in this study successfully reduces tissue death and improves recovery in further experiments, it could lead to new approaches for preserving brain cells after an ischemic stroke,” said Francesca Bosetti, Ph.D., Pharm.D., program director at the NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). An ischemic stroke occurs when a clot cuts off blood flow to part of the brain, depriving those cells of oxygen and nutrients like the blood sugar glucose that they need to survive. Nearly 800,000 Americans experience a stroke every year and 87 percent of those are ischemic strokes. Currently, the only way to minimize stroke-induced cell death is to remove the clot as soon as possible. A treatment to help brain cells survive a stroke-induced lack of oxygen and glucose could dramatically improve patient outcomes, but no such neuroprotective agents for stroke patients exist.

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 19: Language and Lateralization; Chapter 13: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Brain Asymmetry, Spatial Cognition, and Language; Chapter 9: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Link ID: 24339 - Posted: 11.20.2017