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Stroke:  Knowing the warning signs in women
February 6th, 2014
04:03 PM ET

Stroke: Knowing the warning signs in women

It wasn't supposed to happen to her. Just 32 and pregnant, Holly Carson woke with a crushing headache.

"It was ... like if somebody had a baseball bat taken to (my) head," says Carson.  Having some medical training, she immediately suspected she was having a stroke.

At 26, med student Lauren Barnes' migraine took a turn for the worse. Then, "I had a rush of pins and needles sensation and tingling throughout the entire right side of my body," she says.

Stroke isn't just for the elderly, as Carson and Barnes can attest.  Scientists have known for some time that women have some risk factors for stroke that are unique to them and others that are more commonly seen in women than men.

To make women more aware, the American Heart Association released the first guidelines for the prevention of stroke in women on Thursday.  FULL POST


Stroke victims don't call 911, delay crucial treatment
In an ischemic stroke, a blockage in a blood vessel stops essential oxygen and nutrients from reaching the brain.
April 30th, 2013
01:12 PM ET

Stroke victims don't call 911, delay crucial treatment

Despite public outreach campaigns, a third of all stroke patients don’t call an ambulance to get them to the hospital, leaving them vulnerable to delayed treatment and worse outcomes, according to a new study published in the journal Circulation.

The authors analyzed data on more than 204,000 patients, seen at 1,563 U.S. hospitals between 2003 and 2010.  Patients who arrived by ambulance were about twice as likely to arrive at a hospital quickly, and were about 50% more likely to receive intravenous TPA – a clot-busting drug – within the recommended three-hour window, when it’s most effective.

“Time is the essence,” said Dr. O. James Ekundayo, the study’s lead author and an assistant professor at Meharry Medical College in Nashville. “The earlier to the hospital, the better – the earlier you’re evaluated and given treatment.” FULL POST


Lessons about disease...from mummies
March 10th, 2013
07:58 PM ET

Lessons about disease...from mummies

Talk about a startling juxtaposition: A mummy in a CT scanner. You may be wondering: Why in the world would a mummy get a CT scan?

It turns out that preserved peoples are great study subjects, especially when you are trying to figure out the roots of health problems that span millennia.

A study released Sunday in The Lancet suggests that atherosclerosis - the disease that makes arteries go rigid, and is a leading cause of death worldwide - may have been around for thousands of years.

"We like to say that we found the serial killer that's stalked mankind for 4,000 years," said Dr. Randall Thompson, attending cardiologist at Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute, and lead author of the study.
FULL POST


Antioxidants in coffee, tea may not help prevent dementia, stroke
February 20th, 2013
05:04 PM ET

Antioxidants in coffee, tea may not help prevent dementia, stroke

Drinking coffee and tea rich in antioxidants may not lower your risk of dementia or having a stroke, according to a new study published Wednesday in the online journal Neurology.

The study may call into question other research suggesting a diet high in antioxidants helps reduce the risk of dementia and stroke.

Researchers followed approximately 5,400 people aged 55 years and older for nearly 14 years. The participants had no signs of dementia when they began the study and most had never had a stroke. They were questioned about how often they ate 170 foods over the course of the past year and they were divided into three groups based on the levels of antioxidants in their diet - low, moderate or high.

FULL POST


This is your brain on smoking
November 28th, 2012
05:00 PM ET

This is your brain on smoking

That cigarette may be doing more damage than meets the eye. If you’ve been smoking for an extended period of time, you’re likely familiar with at least some – if not all – of the bodily symptoms associated with smoking, including but certainly not limited to: Cravings, coughing, shortness of breath and changes to teeth, hair and skin. Coronary heart disease and/or lung cancer might not be far behind.

But a new study published in the journal Age & Ageing concludes that smoking can damage your mind, too. A consistent association was observed between smoking and lower cognitive functioning, including memory.

The bottom line: Smoking and long-term high blood pressure appear to increase the risk of cognitive decline. FULL POST

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Filed under: Addiction • Alzheimer's • Brain • Cancer • Heart • Longevity • Smoking • Stroke

Tomatoes may help reduce stroke risk
October 8th, 2012
04:01 PM ET

Tomatoes may help reduce stroke risk

Eating tomatoes in your daily salad or regularly enjoying a healthy red sauce on your spaghetti could help reduce your risk of stroke, according to research published this week in the journal Neurology. 

Tomatoes contain a powerful antioxidant that is good for brain health, the researchers say, and cooked tomatoes seem to offer more protection than raw.   

"This study adds to the evidence that a diet high in fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of stroke," says study author Jouni Karppi, of the University of Eastern Finland in Kuopio. "A diet containing tomatoes... a few times a week would be good for our health. However, daily intake of tomatoes may give better protection." 
FULL POST


Facebook helps doctors with diagnosis
One doctor used Facebook as a diagnostic tool when treated a woman who suffered a stroke.
August 24th, 2012
05:19 PM ET

Facebook helps doctors with diagnosis

Facebook isn’t just for connecting with friends – doctors are finding uses for the social network in diagnosis.

Doctors from the Mayo Clinic used the social media site in investigating the stroke of a 56-year-old woman. They published a report about it in the journal BMJ Case Reports.

The patient had a clogged artery in her neck that needed to be opened for treatment. This type of stroke, called ischemic, happens because of reduced blood flow to the brain as a result of narrowed or blocked arteries.

FULL POST


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About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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