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Stroke Smart Magazine

January/February 2009

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Can Vitamin D Prevent Stroke?
Recent findings in a German study suggest that taking vitamin D supplements could prevent stroke. The research at the Synlab Center of Laboratory Diagnostics in Heidelberg, Germany, also found that people with low vitamin D levels have an increased risk of dying from a stroke. This is an important clinical finding because the risk of stroke increases with age and very low vitamin D levels are common in the elderly. Great sources for vitamin D: a healthy dose of sunshine, cod liver oil, salmon, sardines and vitamin D supplements.
Read more at: http://www.dailyherald.com/story/?id=247678

‘Stroke Helmet’ Helps Patients Learn to Talk Again
Stroke survivors say it feels like they’re trapped in their own bodies, unable to communicate with the outside world. But a breakthrough device currently in clinical trials is offering new hope to stroke patients who simply want to speak again. The high-tech helmet creates a magnetic field around the patient’s head. Then a coil is taped to the patient’s tongue. As the patient begins to speak, they can see how their tongue moves by following the track on the screen. Patients get visual feedback when they say a word correctly and hit the correct target in their mouths. If the results of current studies are positive, the technology could be used in rehabilitation centers alongside traditional therapy in a few years.
Read more at: http://wcbstv.com/health/stroke.helmet.speaking.2.848312.html

New Possibilities for Fast and Accurate Stroke Diagnosis
In stroke diagnosis, where time is of the essence, there may be a technology that can dramatically improve fast and accurate stroke diagnosis CT perfusion. CT perfusion measures blood flow and is available to most hospitals. A study, conducted by a team of stroke experts from West Virginia University Health Sciences Center, shows that using CT perfusion to diagnose stroke may be as valuable as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The MRI technology takes far longer to use at a time when every second counts. WVU researchers believe this research could change national protocols on how stroke patients are triaged and potentially extend treatment opportunity beyond the three- to six hour window.
Read more at: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/127544.php

Cholesterol Medicine May Cut Risk of Stroke in Half
A large study has produced powerful evidence that a simple blood test may be able to spot seemingly healthy people who are at an increased risk for a heart attack or stroke. In addition, giving them a widely used drug could offer protection against the nation’s leading killers. Nearly 18,000 volunteers in 26 countries, who were flagged by the blood test participated in the study. Findings show that a cholesterol-lowering statin slashed the risk of stroke and heart attack by about half. The blood test, known as the high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) test, measures a bodily reaction known as inflammation. Evidence has been building that inflammation may play a crucial role in triggering blood clots, which can block blood flow and cause stroke. “If your high sensitivity CRP (hsCRP) is high, you should be on statin therapy regardless of your cholesterol level. This is an approach we can start using tomorrow,” said Dr. James Willerson, director of the Texas Heart Institute in Houston.
Read more at: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/10/health/10heart.html?_r=2&scp=1&sq=crp&st=cse&oref=slogin

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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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