Neuroscience

Long-term decline in stroke greater in older adults

Although the occurrence of first-ever ischemic stroke (strokes due to a blood clot that blocks a blood vessel in the brain) at middle age has been decreasing over time, researchers have found that the decline is not as steep ...

Cardiology

Alteplase seems beneficial at 4.5 to 9.0 hours after stroke

(HealthDay)—The use of alteplase between 4.5 and 9.0 hours after stroke onset results in a higher number of patients with no or minor neurological deficits, according to a study published in the May 9 issue of the New England ...

Cardiology

Researchers develop promising new stroke therapy

Researchers at The Ohio State University College of Medicine and The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center have developed a novel stroke therapy that, when tested in mice and dogs, has proven superior to the standard ...

Cardiology

Stroke hospitalizations down in black, white medicare enrollees

(HealthDay)—Rates of hospitalization for stroke have fallen since 1988 for both black and white Medicare enrollees, while black men and women have had greater improvements in 30-day mortality after stroke, according to ...

Cardiology

Mild congenital heart defects tied to CVD events

(HealthDay)—Individuals with lower-complexity adult congenital heart disease (ACHD) have a higher burden of adverse cardiovascular events than the general population, independent of conventional cardiovascular risk factors, ...

Cardiology

Aspiration noninferior to stent retriever for clot removal

(HealthDay)—Aspiration is as effective as the traditional stent retriever approach for clot removal in patients presenting with large-vessel occlusion stroke, according to a study published online March 9 in The Lancet.

Genetics

Genetic variants may influence post-stroke recovery

Genes may have a bearing not only on stroke risk, but probably also on how well people recover after stroke. For the first time, in an international collaboration, scientists at the University of Gothenburg and elsewhere ...

Cardiology

Innovative model improves access to life-saving stroke care

Training interventional radiologists to perform endovascular thrombectomies results in positive outcomes for patients experiencing stroke, according to a study presented today at the Society of Interventional Radiology Annual ...

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Stroke

A stroke is the rapidly developing loss of brain function(s) due to disturbance in the blood supply to the brain. This can be due to ischemia (lack of blood supply) caused by thrombosis or embolism or due to a hemorrhage. As a result, the affected area of the brain is unable to function, leading to inability to move one or more limbs on one side of the body, inability to understand or formulate speech, or inability to see one side of the visual field. In the past, stroke was referred to as cerebrovascular accident or CVA, but the term "stroke" is now preferred.[citation needed]

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. In the UK, it is the second most common cause of death, the first being heart attacks and third being cancer. It is the number two cause of death worldwide and may soon become the leading cause of death worldwide. Risk factors for stroke include advanced 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.

The traditional definition of stroke, devised by the World Health Organization in the 1970s, is a "neurological deficit of cerebrovascular cause that persists beyond 24 hours or is interrupted by death within 24 hours". This definition was supposed to reflect the reversibility of tissue damage and was devised for the purpose, with the time frame of 24 hours being chosen arbitrarily. The 24-hour limit divides stroke from transient ischemic attack, which is a related syndrome of stroke symptoms that resolve completely within 24 hours. With the availability of treatments that, when given early, can reduce stroke severity, many now prefer alternative concepts, such as brain attack and acute ischemic cerebrovascular syndrome (modeled after heart attack and acute coronary syndrome respectively), that reflect the urgency of stroke symptoms and the need to act swiftly.

A stroke is occasionally treated with thrombolysis ("clot buster"), but usually with supportive care (speech and language therapy, physiotherapy and occupational therapy) in a "stroke unit" and secondary prevention with antiplatelet drugs (aspirin and often dipyridamole), blood pressure control, statins, and in selected patients with carotid endarterectomy and anticoagulation.

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