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Study shows that cell transplantation therapy may improve brain receptor function in patients

StrokeMar 21 06

Study shows that cell transplantation therapy may improve brain receptor function in patients who suffered from cerebral stroke

Japanese researchers have found a piece of the “missing link” about how bone marrow stromal cells restore lost neurologic function when transplanted into animals exhibiting central nervous system disorders, according to a study in the March issue of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

“Our study showed that cell transplantation therapy may improve brain receptor function in patients who suffered from cerebral stroke, improving their neurological symptoms,” said Satoshi Kuroda, M.D., Ph.D., who is with the department of neurosurgery at Hokkaido University School of Medicine in Sapporo, Japan. “How the transplanted bone marrow stromal cells restore the lost neurologic function is not clear,” added the co-author of “Improved Expression of c-Aminobutyric Acid Receptor in Mice With Cerebral Infarct and Transplanted Bone Marrow Stromal Cells: An Autoradiographic and Histologic Analysis.”

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New device for fixing holes in hearts of young stroke patients

StrokeMar 14 06

As many as one in four adults is walking around with a “hole” between the upper chambers of the heart. Most of them will never know it.

The person who learns about the “hole” in his or her heart does so when he or she suffers symptoms of a mini-stroke (TIA) or a more-debilitating stroke. And it is usually only then that the person learns the term Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO), a persistent opening in the upper wall of the heart which did not close completely after birth.

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Stroke-prevention drug underutilized in minorities

StrokeMar 10 06

Despite its proven efficacy in reducing the risk of stroke in patients with abnormal heart rhythm, the blood thinner warfarin is less commonly given to racial minorities, even though their risk of stroke is higher than that of whites, a new study shows.

Furthermore, only about half of older patients in the United States hospitalized with abnormal heart rhythm, also referred to as atrial fibrillation, are prescribed warfarin when they are discharged, according to a report in the journal Stroke. Atrial fibrillation increases the risk of blood clot. By “thinning” the blood, warfarin can prevent the formation of these clots, which are the most common cause of strokes.

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Space suit technology can protect workers from heatstroke

StrokeMar 06 06

The technology used in space suits to protect astronauts carrying out space walks in direct sunlight is now being used to develop protective clothing to safeguard firefighters and steel workers who often work in extremely hot and dangerous conditions.

“The existing protective clothing used while performing physically demanding work in hot conditions can, in many cases, hinder workers’ ability to remain cool,” explains Stefano Carosio from the Italian company D’Appolonia, Project Manager for the Safe&Cool Project.

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Blood Pressure Guidelines for Stroke May Not Be Relevant to Many Patients

StrokeFeb 24 06

Guidelines on blood pressure lowering after stroke may not be applicable to many patients under the care of their family doctor, warn researchers in this week’s BMJ.

International guidelines stress the importance of lowering blood pressure in people who have had a stroke. These guidelines are largely based on the results of the PROGRESS trial, which recruited people with stroke from hospital.

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Strokes in Children Need to Be Recognized Quickly

StrokeFeb 17 06

Who would think a seemingly healthy teenager would suffer a stroke? Certainly not 13-year-old Colin Quinn, of Exton, Pa., who suddenly found he couldn’t get into the family car as he was leaving a guitar lesson. Colin was unable to move the left side of his body.

Fortunately, Colin’s parents acted quickly, calling an ambulance and having him taken to a pediatric hospital that was prepared to assess and treat this sudden event. The medical staff diagnosed it as a stroke-an interruption in blood flow within the brain. Today, two years later, Colin still has lingering weakness in his left arm and other aftereffects, but has largely recovered.

“Although usually thought of as afflicting only elderly patients, strokes may occur as early as infancy,” said pediatric neurologist Rebecca Ichord, M.D., who treated Colin at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “Stroke needs to be considered by first-line pediatric caregivers who encounter a patient with suspicious neurological symptoms, such as difficulty walking or using an arm.”

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Neuroprotective agent improves outcome after ischemic stroke

StrokeFeb 13 06

The first neuroprotective agent to show positive results in a phase 3 trial significantly reduces disability after ischemic stroke, according to results of the Stroke-Acute Ischemic NXY Treatment (SAINT I) trial published in the February 9, 2006 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.

The trial involved 1,699 patients with acute ischemic stroke randomly assigned to receive either a 72-hour infusion of NXY-059 (AstraZeneca, Wilmington, DE) or placebo within six hours of the onset of ischemic stroke. The primary endpoint was disability at 90 days as measured by the Rankin scale, with 0 meaning no residual disability and 5 indicating bedbound and requiring constant care.

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Stroke treatment safe at community hospitals

StrokeFeb 09 06

The clot-busting drugs used to treat stroke can be given just as safely at small community hospitals as they can at large academic medical centers, researchers report in the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke.

Most trials evaluating the risks and benefits of clot-busting therapy, or thrombolysis, have been conducted at major centers, so it was unclear how safe and effective this treatment was at community hospitals, say the investigators.

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Stroke risk reduced by eating fruits and vegetables

StrokeJan 28 06

Eating more than five servings of fruits and vegetables each day can cut the risk of stroke by 26 percent, according to the results of a review of several studies published this week in The Lancet.

Several reports have suggested an anti-stroke effect with diets high in fruits and vegetables, but the extent of this association was unclear, lead author Dr. Feng J. He, from St. George’s University in London, and colleagues note.

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Women at greater risk of subsequent stroke than men

StrokeJan 28 06

Among patients who have suffered a single stroke, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, along with colleagues at other institutions, have found that severe stenosis, or narrowing, of the arteries in the head represents a major risk factor for the development of a subsequent stroke.

Patients with recent symptoms were also at high risk. Further, women faced a greater risk of subsequent stroke than men. Their work, to be published in the January 31 issue of Circulation, lays the foundation for further studies into effective therapies to prevent secondary strokes.

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Aspirin therapy may be safe for some survivors of intracerebral hemorrhage

StrokeJan 24 06

A study from the Stroke Service at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has found that some patients who have survived an intracerebral hemorrhage - a stroke caused by bleeding in the brain - may be safely treated with aspirin to prevent future heart attacks or strokes caused by blood clots.

The study, appearing in the January 24 issue of the journal Neurology, addresses a fairly common clinical dilemma.

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Rise in aspirin use seen among US adults

StrokeJan 19 06

The number of US adults who regularly take aspirin for its heart benefits rose about 20 percent from 1999 to 2003, and the Healthy People 2010 objective of having at least 30 percent of diabetics take aspirin on a regular basis has been met, according to a new report.

The main reason people are using the drug is to reduce their risk of heart attack and stroke.

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Moderate alcohol use cuts risk of stroke

StrokeJan 18 06

Alcohol consumption in moderation may reduce the risk of strokes caused by blockage of blood vessels—the most common kind—a new study suggests.

Dr. Mitchell S. V. Elkind, of Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, and colleagues examined whether moderate alcohol consumption has a protective effect on the risk of stroke in a mostly Hispanic population. The 3176 subjects were on average 69 years of age and were enrolled in the study between 1993 and 2001.

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New procedure offers hope to patients at high risk for recurrent stroke

StrokeJan 06 06

Surgeons at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center are the first in the New York City metropolitan area to successfully implant into the brain arteries a new stent specifically designed to treat high-risk stroke patients who have not previously responded to medical therapy.

The WingspanTM Stent System is used for those individuals diagnosed with intracranial atherosclerotic disease (ICAD)—excess plaque buildup in the brain arteries.

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Stroke risk increases when children with sickle cell disease cease transfusions

StrokeDec 30 05

Stopping regular blood transfusions in children with sickle cell disease who are at risk for a stroke means their stroke risk likely will return, researchers have found.

A study of children whose stroke risk was reduced by blood transfusions found that within a few months of halting transfusion, 14 of the 41 children resumed at-risk status and two children had strokes, says Dr. Robert J. Adams, neurologist and stroke specialist at the Medical College of Georgia who authored the article in the Dec. 29 New England Journal of Medicine.

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