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STROKE MAY INCREASES RISK OF ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE
Researchers have discovered a link between stroke and Alzheimer’s disease. It seems that when the brain cells start to die from a stroke or head injury, the patient’s brain starts to look like that of an Alzheimer’s patient. In both cases, a toxic substance generates in the brain, killing more brain cells. Once this occurs, a vicious cycle of continued brain cell death may begin, leading to Alzheimer’s disease. Further research may help explain the cycle.
PNEUMONIA LEADING CAUSE OF HOSPITAL READMISSIONS AFTER STROKE
Stroke is a leading cause of hospital admission among older adults. Yet among stroke survivors, more hospital readmissions are for pneumonia or heart disease than for another stroke, according to a study published in the June 2007 issue of the journal Stroke.
This finding may alter the way post-stroke patients are managed in the future. The Roudebush VA Medical Center in Indianapolis is working on a follow-up study to see whether certain interventions, such as pneumonia and influenza vaccinations, can lower hospital readmissions for stroke patients.
CONGRESS PROCLAIMS JUNE NATIONAL APHASIA AWARENESS MONTH
Aphasia is the total or partial loss of the ability to use words, most often caused by a stroke or other brain injury that damages the brain's language center. Nearly one million people in the U.S. have aphasia.
In an effort to increase aphasia awareness, both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives approved resolutions declaring June 2007 National Aphasia Awareness Month. For more information about aphasia and National Aphasia Awareness Month, visit http://aphasia.org/.
TELEVISION ADS MAY IMPROVE STROKE RECOGNITION
TV advertisements that teach the warning signs of stroke may encourage more people to get treatment quickly, according to Canadian researchers. Between 2003 and 2005, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario ran two television ad campaigns on the warning signs of stroke. The ads, which ran during prime time, encouraged people to call 911 if they had any of the five most common symptoms. After the ads were launched, area stroke centers saw an increase in ER visits for stroke symptoms. When the ads had been off the air for five months, the trend reversed.
National Stroke Association is also seizing the power of television. “Brain Attack: A Stroke Survival Guide,” a one-hour stroke special, began airing on NBC stations in April 2007. In addition, nine public service announcements featuring CBS television celebrities have been airing on CBS stations. To see an example, click here.
For more information on the study, http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?set_id=1&click_id=117&art_id=nw20070606221232716C988331.
BOOKS HELP CHILDREN UNDERSTAND STROKE
Two new books have been released to help kids cope when a family member has a stroke.
"When Grandpa Comes Home: A Story About Stroke," is an illustrated online book developed by the Internet Stroke Center at Washington University School of Medicine. The book describes one girl’s experience when her grandfather moves in with the family after a stroke. To view the book, visit http://www.strokecenter.org/kids/.
"Grandpa’s Crooked Smile: A Story of Stroke Survival," also helps young children and their families learn about stroke from explaining a stroke to how relationships may be changed but also strengthened when someone in the family survives one. The book was developed by Mid-Michigan Medical Center. The book is not currently for sale, but is available to local libraries free of charge and will be distributed over the next year to a variety of children via partnerships with various local children’s programs.
For more information on the book, go to midmichigan.org
CLOTS, KIDS AND RECURRENT STROKE
A two-year-old (or older) stroke survivor who is not taking blood thinners, but has a certain genetic mutation, is at increased risk of a repeat stroke related to venous thrombosis (VT), according to a study published in The Lancet Neurology. VT is a health condition that causes blood clots to form in the veins, which can lead to stroke.
However, researchers caution that continued use of blood-thinning drugs in children has to be balanced against the risks of hemorrhages (bleeding in the brain). Each case should be considered individually.
CIRCUIT TRAINING MAY HELP IMPROVE LEG STRENGTH
The Journal of Stroke & Cerebrovascular Diseases published findings about the effect of circuit training on leg muscle strength in survivors. Thirty male stroke survivors in Sweden, at an average age of 54, were studied over an eight-week period. The men did several strength and endurance exercises, and their heart rate and blood pressure were measured every minute. Results showed that stroke survivors have the capacity to improve muscle strength and endurance in the legs using a circuit training program.
For complete scientific study results, call (800) STROKES and ask for a copy of the “Circuit Training in Community-Living ‘Younger’ Men After Stroke” article from National Stroke Association’s May-June 2007 issue of Journal of Stroke & Cerebrovascular Disease.
ONE-FIFTH OF HOSPITALS GIVE BAD EMERGENCY ADVICE ON STROKE
Americans who think they're having a stroke face a one-in-five chance of getting the wrong and potentially fatal advice when they call a local hospital, a new study shows.
In 22 percent of cases, hospital personnel who answered the phone advised them to call their family doctor rather than go to the emergency room. Make sure you not only can identify the symptoms of stroke, but also know where a stroke center is located in your area. You can find a list of stroke centers at http://www.stroke/ org and click on the “Emergency stroke center locations” button.
To view more information, go to http://www.forbes.com/forbeslife/health/feeds/hscout/2007/07/05/hscout606149.html.
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