Houston, TX – Stroke patients receiving clot-busting medications before arriving at the hospital have a lower risk for disability afterward, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2017.
Researchers analyzed results from 658 stroke patients who were treated with tPA – a drug that dissolves blood clots. About half of the participants received the clot-busting drug at the hospital, and half received it while still in the ambulance.
The study suggests that ambulances with the personnel and equipment capable of diagnosing ischemic stroke may be worth the extra cost, due to the decrease in patient disability afterward. (American Heart Association)
Houston, TX – Structured exercise training can significantly improve brain function in stroke survivors, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2017.
Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States, and the leading cause of long-term disability. Studies estimate that up to 85 percent of people who suffer a stroke will have cognitive impairments, including deficits in executive function, attention and working memory.
Structured physical activity training after a stroke effectively improves brain function. (American Heart Association)
Dallas, TX – High blood pressure, especially in middle age, is associated with an increased risk of cognitive impairment later in life, according to a new statement from the American Heart Association.
The statement, which was published in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension, reviewed multiple studies and provides an overview of what is currently known about how high blood pressure influences brain diseases such as stroke, vascular cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.
Doctor reviewing brain image up close. (American Heart Association)
American Heart Association Rapid Access Journal Report
Dallas, TX – Bleeding inside the lining of the brain (subarachnoid hemorrhage) is significantly more common among smokers, especially female smokers, than among people who do not smoke, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke.
Subarachnoid hemorrhage results from bleeding into the lining between the brain’s surface and underlying brain tissue.
Even light smoking increases the risk, but the greatest risk is among heavy smokers.
Los Angeles, CA – Stroke patients whose symptoms quickly improved before hospital arrival did not always have better recoveries than other patients, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2016.
“Patients with very early rapid neurological improvement when first examined at the hospital still need to be considered for therapy to dissolve blood clots, given the high rate of unfavorable outcome,” said Clotilde Balucani, M.D., Ph.D., lead author and research assistant professor in neurology at The State University of New York Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn.
Doctors may consider administering clot-busting therapy to those patients whose stroke symptoms rapidly improved before hospital arrival. (American Heart Association)
Los Angeles, CA – Brain imaging may accurately identify patients likely to benefit from stroke clot removal instead of relying on the time since symptoms began as an indicator of treatment eligibility, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2016.
An ischemic stroke is caused by lack of blood reaching part of the brain. Endovascular treatment – which mechanically removes the blood clot blocking the path to the brain – benefits patients when performed within six hours of symptom onset. Drug treatment to bust the clot is beneficial up to 4.5 hours.
American Heart Association Rapid Access Journal Report
Dallas, TX – Poor sleep quality in elderly persons is associated with more severe arteriosclerosis in the brain as well as a greater burden of oxygen-starved tissue (infarcts) in the brain – both of which can contribute to the risk of stroke and cognitive impairment. The findings are reported in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke.
The relationship between cardiovascular disease and so-called “fragmented” sleep has been studied in the past, but this is the first study to look specifically for an association between sleep fragmentation and detailed microscopic measures of blood vessel damage and infarcts in autopsied brain tissue from the same individuals.
Elderly people who sleep poorly and awaken frequently are more likely to have hardened blood vessels or oxygen-starved tissue in the brain. (American Heart Association)
Written by Elizabeth Landau
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Pasadena, CA – To operate on the brain, doctors need to see fine details on a small scale. A tiny camera that could produce 3-D images from inside the brain would help surgeons see more intricacies of the tissue they are handling and lead to faster, safer procedures.
An endoscope with such a camera is being developed at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. MARVEL, which stands for Multi Angle Rear Viewing Endoscopic tooL, has been honored this week with the Outstanding Technology Development award from the Federal Laboratory Consortium. An endoscope is a device that examines the interior of a body part.
A laboratory prototype of MARVEL, one of the world’s smallest 3-D cameras. MARVEL is in the center foreground. On the display is a 3-D image of the interior of a walnut, taken by MARVEL previously, which has characteristics similar to that of a brain. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/Skull Base Institute)
Dallas, TX – A CT scan of the brain within 24 hours of a mild, non-disabling stroke can predict when patients will be at the highest risk of another stroke or when symptoms may worsen, according to new research published in the American Heart Association journal Stroke.
Like stroke, a transient ischemic attack (TIA) is caused by restricted blood supply to the brain. Symptoms may last only a few minutes.
Dallas, TX – Treatments involving neck manipulation may be associated with stroke, though it cannot be said with certainty that neck manipulation causes strokes, according to a new scientific statement published in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke.
Cervical artery dissection (CD) is a small tear in the layers of artery walls in the neck. It can result in ischemic stroke if a blood clot forms after a trivial or major trauma in the neck and later causes blockage of a blood vessel in the brain.
Vertebral artery as it passes through the neck vertebrae of the spine and enters the skull base. Arrows indicate head movement during lateral rotation and lateral flexion, motions that may be performed as part of a neck manipulation. (American Heart Association)