Recent Blog Articles

Stroke Archive


Emergency Rx for major TIA

Updated September 1, 2013

A minor stroke or transient ischemic attack (mini-stroke or TIA) is a frightening event. It's often followed within a few days or weeks by a more serious stroke. Rapid treatment of a minor stroke or TIA with aspirin and clopidogrel (Plavix) can help prevent a repeat stroke.

The finding comes from a Chinese study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study enrolled more than 5,000 people with underlying stroke risk factors, relatively minor strokes, or major TIAs (but not people with quickly passing dizziness or brief visual or sensory events).

Ultra-rapid treatment reduces odds of post-stroke disability

Published August 23, 2013

When it comes to treating stroke, time is brain and every minute counts. That tenet was supported yet again by an international study showing that the sooner clot-busting treatment is begun—preferably within 90 minutes of the onset of stroke symptoms—the greater the chances of surviving a stroke without a disability. This finding makes it even more important to recognize the warning signs of stroke. Think FAST: Face (when the person smiles, does one side droop?), Arms (when the person lifts both arms, does one drift down?), Speech (is the person’s speech slurred or incomplete?), and Time (if one or more stroke signs are present, call 911 right away and get the person to the nearest hospital with an emergency department—better yet, to one with a stroke center).

How to lower your stroke risk

Updated August 1, 2013







Image: Thinkstock

Smoking is the No. 1 risk factor for stroke— nothing will help you prevent a stroke more than quitting.

You can do more than you think to avoid a fatal or debilitating "brain attack."

News briefs: Fish oil supplements ineffective for heart health?

Updated August 1, 2013

While there’s good evidence that omega-3s in the diet offer protection against heart disease and stroke, omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil supplements may not reduce the risk of stroke or heart attack among people with a high heart disease risk.

Ask the doctor: Adding Plavix to Coumadin

Updated August 1, 2013






Thomas Lee, M.D. and Richard Lee, M.D.

Q. I've been taking Coumadin for some time and have begun taking Plavix after having had several stents put in to open blocked arteries. My doctor said Plavix would prevent clots. Isn't that what Coumadin does?

Thick air, thick arteries

Updated August 1, 2013

Even at currently acceptable levels, air pollution may lead to blocked arteries and stroke.

Only two and a half years into its planned 10-year duration, the MESA study (Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis and Air Pollution) already suggests that fine particulate air pollution causes thickening of the arteries.

Stroke: Every minute counts

Updated August 1, 2013

When stroke strikes, every minute's delay of treatment counts. A huge new study now shows the exact benefit of early treatment.

Ischemic stroke occurs when a clot blocks blood flow to the brain. Two million brain cells die every minute until blood flow is restored. Infusion of the clot-busting drug known as tPA (tissue-type plasminogen activator) can restore blood flow to the brain. However, tPA must be infused in a hospital, as quickly as possible, and no later than 4.5 hours after the stroke.

A heart condition may foreshadow dementia, even without a stroke

Updated August 1, 2013

New studies show resolving heart problems now may preserve brain function later.

The heart and brain occupy different spaces within our bodies, but they have strikingly similar needs—including a steady supply of oxygen-rich blood and a network of open, unobstructed blood vessels to deliver it.

Balancing bleeding vs. stroke risk when you have atrial fibrillation

Updated July 1, 2013









Photo: Thinkstock

Careful compliance makes management of anticoagulant and antiplatelet drugs safer.

If you have atrial fibrillation and have been prescribed an anticoagulant such as warfarin (Coumadin), there may come a time when your doctor will consider adding another type of blood thinner, called an antiplatelet agent, to your anti-clotting regimen. Examples of antiplatelet agents include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), and prasugrel (Effient).

High-fiber diet might reduce stroke risk

Updated July 1, 2013

Adding just a couple of extra servings of fiber to your diet each day might help lower your risk of a stroke, according to an analysis published online March 28 in the journal Stroke.

After looking at eight different studies from around the world, researchers found that people who increased total dietary fiber by 7 grams a day—which you can get by eating a bowl of whole-grain pasta, an apple, and a serving of tomatoes—had a 7% lower stroke risk. The authors say fiber may help ward off strokes via its ability to control weight and lower elevated cholesterol levels. Women, on average, eat only 13 grams of fiber each day. To ensure you're getting enough fiber in your diet (25 grams daily for women), try to incorporate plenty of whole grains (brown rice, whole-wheat bread, quinoa), fruits, and vegetables into your diet.

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