Recent Blog Articles

Stroke Archive


Women are at higher risk for stroke than men.

Updated August 1, 2012

For unknown reasons, women are at higher risk than men.

If you have coronary artery disease (CAD), you are at increased risk of having a heart attack. But many people don't know that the same process that causes obstructive fatty plaques to accumulate in the heart's arteries can occur in the brain's arteries, increasing the risk for a stroke, or "brain attack." Strokes occur in almost 800,000 people every year, affecting about 55,000 more women than men.

Bleeding risk with aspirin must be balanced against benefit

Updated August 1, 2012

An aspirin a day has been shown to lower the risk of a first heart attack in men and a first stroke in women, but it also increases the risk of major bleeding in the digestive tract or brain.

Could a silent stroke erode your memory?

Updated June 1, 2012

Without any warning, your mind could be at risk.

A stroke can be dramatic—and devastating. As part of the brain is starved of its blood supply, cells may die. If a large number of brain cells die, with them may go some of a person's ability to speak, move, and remember.

Triglycerides may predict stroke

Updated June 1, 2012

This lipid plays a bigger part than you realize.

The strongest predictors of a woman's stroke risk may be the most over-looked lipids in your cholesterol profile, according to a new study published online Feb. 2, 2012, in the journal Stroke.

Robotics help stroke survivors walk again

Updated June 1, 2012

Sophisticated devices add to traditional rehabilitation techniques.

Every year, thousands of people survive strokes (or "brain �attacks"), only to become locked in an arduous struggle to regain lost function. With the help of modern rehabilitation techniques, many are able to resume a normal or near-normal lifestyle.

Others are left with substantial deficits that impair their ability to live independently.

Soft drinks found to increase stroke risk

Updated June 1, 2012

Study implicates both diet and sugar-sweetened sodas.

Pop. Soda. Cola. No matter what you call soft drinks, they are among the unhealthiest beverages in this country. Sugar-sweetened soft drinks have been linked with coronary artery disease and its risk factors, including obesity, high blood lipid levels, hypertension, and diabetes. And although low-calorie sodas have not been extensively studied, there's new information that sugar-sweetened and diet soft drinks alike may increase the risk of stroke (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, May 2012).

The finding comes from an analysis of two long-term studies, the Nurses' Health Study, which began in 1976 with 121,700 women, and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, which started in 1986 with 51,529 men. Every few years, participants in both studies complete questionnaires about their health and diet. This allows researchers to see relationships between food choices and medical conditions that arise over time.

Arm-to-arm variations in blood pressure may warrant attention

Updated May 1, 2012

A difference of 10 or more points could signal peripheral artery disease.

Roll up both sleeves the next time you check your blood pressure at home or have it measured by a health care provider. Why? A recent analysis of 20 different studies in which blood pressure was measured in both arms came to two noteworthy conclusions.

Hidden atrial fibrillation is a possible culprit in mystery strokes

Updated May 1, 2012

Atrial fibrillation—the rapid and ineffectual quivering of the heart's upper chambers—dramatically increases a person's risk of having a stroke. In fact, doctors estimate that about 15% of all strokes arise from atrial fibrillation. But a even greater proportion of strokes—25%—have no known cause. A new study suggests that hidden atrial fibrillation could account for many of these strokes as well.

Doctors use the term "subclinical" to describe a disease that's hidden. People don't feel any symptoms of it, and nothing abnormal shows up in routine medical tests. But it's there.

Changes to the statin label: What they really mean

Updated May 1, 2012

The FDA has made changes to the safety label for statins, the cholesterol-lowering drugs that over 20 million Americans take in hopes of reducing their chances of having a heart attack or stroke. When the changes were announced in February 2012, it reignited a smoldering debate about the benefits and risks of statins.

If you want our bottom line, here it is: the vast majority of people taking statins should continue to take them, but some additional attention to blood sugar levels is warranted. And, as with any medication, if you're taking a statin and experience side effects, you shouldn't hesitate to contact your doctor.

Interested in more details? Read on.

Increases in blood sugar levels

The safety information for statins now says that increases in HbA1C and fasting serum glucose levels have been reported. HbA1C is a blood test that reflects average blood sugar levels; serum glucose is just another way of saying blood sugar.

Blood clots: The good, the bad, and the deadly

Updated April 1, 2012


Those arising from atherosclerosis and atrial fibrillation can be very dangerous.

When you poke yourself on a thorn while gardening or get a paper cut at the office, your body marshals the forces needed to stop the flow of blood and repair the damage. If it weren't for the blood's ability to clot (form a thrombus, in medicalese), even these minor scrapes of daily living could cause us to bleed uncontrollably. These healing clots also form inside the body at sites of blood vessel injuries. Normally, when the clot's job is done, it dissolves away.

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