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Stroke Smart Magazine

July/August 2007

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Diabetes Drug May Prevent Secondary Stroke

The University of Texas Medical School at Houston has concluded that a diabetes medication might reduce recurrent strokes.  When the diabetes drug was given to the mice up to 24 hours after a stroke, the drug appeared to have a great effect.  Researchers saw a 67 percent reduction in brain deficits after 21 days.  The drug, rosiglitazone, is prescribed for Type II diabetes.  As of yet it has not been approved for human ingestion, but researchers are hopeful that the drug will gain approval.


Undiagnosed Diabetes Can Lead to Stroke

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital conducted a study of 50,000 stroke patients who had diabetes. The study showed that stroke patients with undiagnosed diabetes may be at higher risk for recurrent stroke. without properly diagnosing their diabetes patients may also suffer cardiovascular complications as well.


Cartoonist Hart dies from Stroke

The cartoonist Johnny Hart, creator of the popular comic strip BC, died April 7th due to a stroke.  Hart was 76.  The often-controversial BC had been in publication since 1958. It was distributed to 1,300 newspapers worldwide, with a readership of over 100 million.


Stroke Victim to Receive $19 Million from Hospital

In 2005 Ted Baxter was admitted to a hospital with stroke-like symptoms.  His MRI exam was misread.  Not diagnosed with a stroke, Baxter did not receive the clot-dissolving drug tPA.  By the next morning, Baxter was paralyzed on the right side.

Following his stroke, Baxter was unable to resume his professional position.  Now Evanston Northwestern Healthcare has agreed to pay Baxter a $19.5 million settlement on account of the outcome of his medical care.


New Peptide May Lessen Damage from Stroke

A compound called SS31 may prove to be a weapon against stroke.  Researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College have just published a study which suggests that the newly created peptide, SS31, can greatly reduce tissue damage after a stroke.  On mice, the peptide works by inhibiting CD36, a scavenger receptor in the brain.  This drug may be able to reach the site where the human brain is injured during a stroke and therefore lessen damage.


Overweight Stroke Patients Less Likely to Discharge from Hospital

Stroke patients who are overweight have less of a chance of being discharged from the hospital quickly.  A study from the University of California at Los Angeles Stroke Center examined 451 patients admitted into their hospital after an ischemic stroke.  The researchers also looked at other factors including age, hypertension, diabetes, blood pressure and stroke severity.

The study indicates that the higher Body Mass Index (BMI), the higher the probability there is for recurrent stroke.  Those with a lower BMI were discharged quicker after stroke, while those with a higher BMI were more likely to go to rehab or a nursing facility.


Hollywood Lobbyist Jack Valenti Dies at 85

Jack Valenti, a Hollywood industry lobbyist, died April 26, due to complications from a stroke.  Valenti suffered a stroke in March and was treated at John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, but was released two days before his death.  Among many other accomplishments Valenti is known for pioneering the film ratings system of: G, PG, PG-13, R or NC-17.



Siblings of Stroke Survivors at Higher Risk for Stroke

According to a researcher at the University of Michigan, siblings of stroke survivors are twice as likely to have a stroke of their own.  Dr. Lewis B. Morgenstern’s study also found that the risk is especially prominent in Mexican-American men.  However, Dr. Morgenstern stated, Mexican-Americans typically have more siblings than non-Hispanic whites.


New Financial Assistance Available for Botox

Allergan announced a financial aid program for patients who need BOTOX for serious or debilitating medical conditions.  The program was released to ensure that patients would have access to BOTOX regardless of their ability to pay.  Those uninsured, underinsured or those unable to pay for treatment may qualify under the eligibility criteria.  For more information go to: http://www.botoxpatientassistance.com/.

New MIT Arm Brace Aids in Rehabilitation

A NeuroRobotic arm brace developed by MIT has been seen to provide positive results for severe stroke patients.  A study appeared in the American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, wherein positive results were seen in a pilot clinical trial.  The robotic brace helps patients utilized their natural plasticity.  Still awaiting FDA approval, the brace senses a patient’s electrical muscle activity through electromyography (EMG).  The hope is that the brace will assist those with neurological trauma to gain more independence while gaining strength in their arms.




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National Stroke Association’s mission is to reduce the incidence and impact of stroke by developing compelling education and programs focused on prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and support for all impacted by stroke.

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