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Stroke Smart Magazine

March/April 2007

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Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA) is offering a Fact Sheet for caregivers at www.caregiver.org

Economists have estimated the value of “free” services offered by caregivers in the last four years at $306 billion.

Blood Thinning Drug Increases Brain Hemorrhaging

A University of Cincinnati study has found that the rate of intracerebral brain hemorrhages have quintupled during the 1990’s.  The study has concluded this is on account of the use of such blood-thinning drugs as Warfarin.  Moreover, rates increased more than 10-fold in people over 80 in the same time frame.

Blood-thinning drugs have been used to reduce blood clots for people with atrial fibrillilation.  Blood clots can lead to ischemic stroke.  However, intracerebral hemorrhaging (bleeding in the brain) was increased on account of the thinned blood.  Despite this, the study author, Matthew Flaherty, MD, does not believe that the use of the drugs should be discontinued.


Gene Variant Linked to Stroke

Researchers in Japan have discovered a gene variant that can predispose a person to cerebral infarction, the most common type of stroke.  However, studies have concluded that the variant is more prevalent in people of Asian descent, rather than European or African descent.


Stroke Rehabilitation for Women not as Great as for Men

According to new studies, women are finding less-favorable results in stroke rehabilitation than men.  An Italian study has shown that men and women have similar neurological recovery, but men have better functional results.  The males in the sample group of 220 had a higher score when it came to issues of stair-climbing and independence in daily living.


Senator Improving After Stroke and Surgery

After suffering a brain hemorrhage and then undergoing surgery, Doctors say that Sen. Tim Johnson of South Dakota is improving.  However, the 60 year-old Senator still needs a ventilator to sleep at night.  Doctors have stated that no further surgery is needed at this time.

Senator Johnson’s stroke concerned Democrats that they may lose their 51-49 Senate majority in Congress.  If Johnson’s seat were vacated, South Dakota’s Republican Governor could appoint a GOP replacement.


Incidence of Stroke Declined in Last 50 Years

In the United States there are more than 750,000 new strokes each year.  According to the December issue of JAMA, the incidence of stroke has decreased over the last fifty years. Researchers from Boston University have found that there has been an improved control of risk factors, which has lowered incidence of stroke.  However, researchers believe that there needs to be greater primary prevention to reduce lifetime risk, severity and 30-day mortality following stroke.


Stroke Incidence Higher in Female Family History

According to a new British study of 91,000 people, females who have had incidence of women having stroke in their family have a higher risk for stroke than men.


Brain Chip May Help Stroke Survivors with Muscle Control

Testing continues on a brain patch that may assist brains heal from stroke.  University of Washington researchers have developed a chip that has been shown to strengthen areas in the brain that control movement, in monkeys.  Studies are pointing toward creating new connections in the brain for stroke survivors who struggle with muscle control.  The next step is for researchers to make sure that the chip is safe for use in humans.

Lesions on Brain Predict Recurrent Stroke

Researchers at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke completed a new study about recurrent stroke.  The study concluded that stroke survivors who have silent (asymptomatic) ischemic lesions on the brain within 3 months of a stroke are 6.5 times more likely to suffer another stroke.


Clues Found for Brain Regeneration After Stroke

Studies have provided researchers with new insights about how the brain regenerates after a stroke.  Scientists are beginning to link the creation of new blood vessels, within weeks of a stroke, to the creation of new neurons in the brain.  More specifically, two proteins appear to be responsible for the migration of the immature neurons to the location of new blood vessel formation.  These results may provide clinicians with practical applications for brain repair after a stroke.



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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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