Neuroscience

Stroke: When the system fails for the second time

After a stroke, there is an increased risk of suffering a second one. If areas in the left hemisphere were affected during the first attack, language is often impaired. In order to maintain this capability, the brain usually ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Wash your hands after stroking your pet, say French experts

A French medical body urged pet owners on Wednesday to take precautions like washing hands after stroking dogs or cats, saying the risk of catching COVID-19 from animals "cannot be ruled out".

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Severe COVID-19 might injure the heart

(HealthDay)—The new coronavirus may be a respiratory bug, but it's becoming clear that some severely ill patients sustain heart damage. And it may substantially raise their risk of death, doctors in China are reporting.

Cardiology

Too much salt weakens the immune system

A high-salt diet is not only bad for blood pressure, but also for the immune system. This is the conclusion of a current study under the leadership of the University Hospital Bonn. Mice fed a high-salt diet were found to ...

Alzheimer's disease & dementia

Study: An aspirin a day does not keep dementia at bay

Taking a low-dose aspirin once a day does not reduce the risk of thinking and memory problems caused by mild cognitive impairment or probable Alzheimer's disease, nor does it slow the rate of cognitive decline, according ...

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A stroke, also known as a cerebrovascular accident (CVA), is the rapid loss of brain function(s) due to disturbance in the blood supply to the brain. This can be due to ischemia (lack of blood flow) caused by blockage (thrombosis, arterial embolism), or a hemorrhage (leakage of blood). As a result, the affected area of the brain cannot function, which might result in an inability to move one or more limbs on one side of the body, inability to understand or formulate speech, or an inability to see one side of the visual field.

A stroke is a medical emergency and can cause permanent neurological damage, complications, and death. It is the leading cause of adult disability in the United States and Europe and the second leading cause of death worldwide. Risk factors for stroke include old age, hypertension (high blood pressure), previous stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA), diabetes, high cholesterol, cigarette smoking and atrial fibrillation. High blood pressure is the most important modifiable risk factor of stroke.

A silent stroke is a stroke that does not have any outward symptoms, and the patients are typically unaware they have suffered a stroke. Despite not causing identifiable symptoms, a silent stroke still causes damage to the brain, and places the patient at increased risk for both transient ischemic attack and major stroke in the future. Conversely, those who have suffered a major stroke are at risk of having silent strokes. In a broad study in 1998, more than 11 million people were estimated to have experienced a stroke in the United States. Approximately 770,000 of these strokes were symptomatic and 11 million were first-ever silent MRI infarcts or hemorrhages. Silent strokes typically cause lesions which are detected via the use of neuroimaging such as MRI. Silent strokes are estimated to occur at five times the rate of symptomatic strokes. The risk of silent stroke increases with age, but may also affect younger adults and children, especially those with acute anemia.

An ischemic stroke is occasionally treated in a hospital with thrombolysis (also known as a "clot buster"), and some hemorrhagic strokes benefit from neurosurgery. Treatment to recover any lost function is termed stroke rehabilitation, ideally in a stroke unit and involving health professions such as speech and language therapy, physical therapy and occupational therapy. Prevention of recurrence may involve the administration of antiplatelet drugs such as aspirin and dipyridamole, control and reduction of hypertension, and the use of statins. Selected patients may benefit from carotid endarterectomy and the use of anticoagulants.

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