Links for Keyword: Stroke

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Nicoletta Lanese Cell transplantation therapy offers a promising route to recovery after stroke, but the grafted cells face a harsh environment, with elevated levels of free radicals and proinflammatory cytokines, compromised blood supply, and degraded neural connectivity, says Shan Ping Yu, a neurology researcher at Emory University School of Medicine. He and his colleagues aimed to build a new tool to help stem cells integrate with host neural circuitry after implantation. Scientists have long known that stimulating transplanted neural stem cells encourages them to differentiate into neurons and connect with nearby host cells. Many researchers turn to optogenetics to excite grafted stem cells, but because light travels poorly through dense tissue, the technique requires researchers to stick a laser into their subjects’ brains. So Yu and his coauthors turned instead to a type of enzyme that grants fireflies and jellyfish their glow: luciferase. “These proteins carry their own light, so they do not need a light source,” says Yu. The researchers injected neural progenitor cells that had been derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) into the brains of mouse models of stroke. The cells were genetically engineered to express a fusion protein called luminopsin 3 (LMO3), crafted from the bioluminescent enzyme Gaussia luciferase and the light-sensitive protein VChR1. LMO3 activates in response to either physical light or a molecule called CTZ, which can be delivered noninvasively through the nose into the brain tissue. The fusion protein can be hooked up to either excitatory or inhibitory channels in the neurons to either stimulate or tamp down the cells’ function. Yu and his colleagues dubbed the new technique “optochemogenetics.” © 1986–2019 The Scientist.

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 19: Language and Lateralization; Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Brain Asymmetry, Spatial Cognition, and Language; Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
Link ID: 26712 - Posted: 10.17.2019

By Caroline Parkinson Health editor, BBC News website People who eat vegan and vegetarian diets have a lower risk of heart disease and a higher risk of stroke, a major study suggests. They had 10 fewer cases of heart disease and three more strokes per 1,000 people compared with the meat-eaters. The research, published in the British Medical Journal, looked at 48,000 people for up to 18 years. However, it cannot prove whether the effect is down to their diet or some other aspect of their lifestyle. Diet experts said, whatever people's dietary choice, eating a wide range of foods was best for their health. What does this study add? It analyses data from the EPIC-Oxford study, a major long-term research project looking at diet and health. Half of participants, recruited between 1993 and 2001, were meat-eaters, just over 16,000 vegetarian or vegan, with 7,500 who described themselves as pescatarian (fish-eating). They were asked about their diets, when they joined the study and again in 2010. Medical history, smoking and physical activity were taken into account, Altogether, there were 2,820 cases of coronary heart disease (CHD) and 1,072 cases of stroke - including 300 haemorrhagic strokes, which happen when a weakened blood vessel bursts and bleeds into the brain. The pescatarians were found to have a 13% lower risk of CHD than the meat-eaters, while the vegetarians and vegans had a 22% lower risk. But those on plant-based diets had a 20% higher risk of stroke. The researchers suggested this could be linked to low vitamin B12 levels but said more studies were needed to investigate the connection. It is also possible that the association may have nothing to do with people's diets and may just reflect other differences in the lives of people who do not eat meat. © 2019 BBC

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 19: Language and Lateralization
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Brain Asymmetry, Spatial Cognition, and Language
Link ID: 26572 - Posted: 09.05.2019

Ashley P. Taylor When adults have strokes affecting a structure called the arcuate fasciculus in the left hemisphere of the brain, they usually lose their language abilities and regain them with difficulty, if at all. But the same is not true for infants who have strokes affecting this region during the first few days of life, according to a study published August 1 in eNeuro. Despite perinatal stroke damage to or near the left arcuate fasciculus, the study finds, developing infant brains acquire fairly normal language skills by age four. The arcuate fasciculus (AF), one of the brain’s axon highways, is present in both hemispheres, but it’s the left AF that is typically important for language. The study, of six four-year-olds who had had perinatal strokes near or overlapping with the left AF, found that the larger the right AF relative to its left-hemisphere counterpart the stronger the children’s language abilities were. Overall, “the brain is showing this capacity to use other areas on the contralesional hemisphere that will take over and will support language acquisition almost at the near normal level, which is good news,” says study coauthor Laura Bosch, a psychologist focusing on language acquisition at the University of Barcelona. She notes, however, that one of the six patients had significant language impairments that can’t be discounted. Previous research had indicated that, unlike in adults, strokes in the left hemisphere of newborns did not seem to hamper language development, but the neurological mechanisms behind this stroke recovery were unknown, the authors write in their report. Prior to their analysis, there had been no neuroimaging studies on pre-school-age kids who’d had a stroke in utero or as a newborn (known as a perinatal arterial ischemic stroke, or PAIS), a rare condition occurring in 1 in 4,000 births. © 1986–2019 The Scientist.

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 19: Language and Lateralization; Chapter 7: Life-Span Development of the Brain and Behavior
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Brain Asymmetry, Spatial Cognition, and Language; Chapter 13: Memory, Learning, and Development
Link ID: 26541 - Posted: 08.26.2019

By Donald G. McNeil Jr Giving people an inexpensive pill containing generic drugs that prevent heart attacks — an idea first proposed 20 years ago but rarely tested — worked quite well in a new study, slashing the rate of heart attacks by more than half among those who regularly took the pills. If other studies now underway find similar results, such multidrug cocktails — sometimes called “polypills” — given to vast numbers of older people could radically change the way cardiologists fight the soaring rates of heart disease and strokes in poor and middle-income countries Even if the concept is ultimately adopted, there will be battles over the ingredients. The pill in the study, which involved the participation of 6,800 rural villagers aged 50 to 75 in Iran, contained a cholesterol-lowering statin, two blood-pressure drugs and a low-dose aspirin. But the study, called PolyIran and published Thursday by The Lancet, was designed 14 years ago. More recent research in wealthy countries has questioned the wisdom of giving some drugs — particularly aspirin — to older people with no history of disease. The stakes are high. As more residents of poor countries survive childhood into middle age and beyond — and as rising incomes contribute to their adoption of cigarette smoking and diets high in sugar and fat — a polypill offers a way to help millions lead longer, healthier lives. About 18 million people a year die of cardiovascular disease, and 80 percent of them are in poor and middle-income countries threatened by rising rates of obesity, diabetes, tobacco use and sedentary living. Medical experts, however, are sharply divided over the polypill concept. Its advocates — including some prominent cardiologists — point to the study as evidence that the World Health Organization should endorse distributing such pills without a prescription to hundreds of millions of people over age 50 around the globe. Some have estimated that widespread use could cut cardiac death rates by 60 to 80 percent. © 2019 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 19: Language and Lateralization
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Brain Asymmetry, Spatial Cognition, and Language
Link ID: 26533 - Posted: 08.23.2019

By Nicholas Bakalar Maintaining a low level of LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, is important for cardiovascular health, but extremely low LDL may also have risks, researchers report. The scientists studied 96,043 people for an average of nine years, recording their LDL level biennially and tracking cases of hemorrhagic stroke, caused by the rupture of a blood vessel in the brain. About 13 percent of strokes are of the hemorrhagic type. They found that compared with people in the normal range for LDL — 70 to 99 milligrams per deciliter of blood — people who had an LDL of 50 to 69 had a 65 percent higher risk of hemorrhagic stroke. For people with an LDL below 50, the risk nearly tripled. LDL concentrations above 100, on the other hand, were not significantly associated with hemorrhagic stroke, even at levels higher than 160. The study, in Neurology, controlled for age, sex, education, income, diabetes, hypertension and other variables. The senior author, Dr. Xiang Gao, an associate professor of nutrition at Pennsylvania State University, said that this does not mean that having a high LDL is harmless. “High LDL is a risk for cardiovascular disease, and a level above 100 should be lowered,” he said. “But there is no single answer for everyone. The ideal level varies depending on an individual’s risk factors. We need a personalized recommendation rather than a general rule.” © 2019 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 19: Language and Lateralization
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Brain Asymmetry, Spatial Cognition, and Language
Link ID: 26402 - Posted: 07.10.2019

By Jane E. Brody Kelly Baxter was 36 years old and had just moved to Illinois with her 41-year-old husband, Ted, when he suffered a disabling stroke that derailed his high-powered career in international finance. It derailed her life as well. “It was a terrible shock, especially in such a young, healthy, athletic man,” she told me. “Initially I was in denial. He’s this amazing guy, so determined. He’s going to get over this,” she thought. But when she took him home six weeks later, the grim reality quickly set in. “Seeing him not able to speak or remember or even understand what I said to him — it was a very scary, lonely, uncertain time. What happened to my life? I had to make big decisions without Ted’s input. We had been in the process of selling our house in New Jersey, and now I also had to put our Illinois house on the market and sell two cars.” But those logistical problems were minor in comparison to the steep learning curve she endured trying to figure out how to cope with an adult she loved whose brain had suddenly become completely scrambled. He could not talk, struggled to understand what was said to him, and for a long time had limited use of the right side of his body. “One of the biggest stumbling blocks for caregivers is knowledge,” said Dr. Richard C. Senelick, author of “Living With Stroke: A Guide for Families.” His advice is to learn everything you can about stroke, your loved one’s condition and prognosis. “The more you learn, the better you’ll be able to care for your loved one,” he said. © 2019 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 19: Language and Lateralization
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Brain Asymmetry, Spatial Cognition, and Language
Link ID: 26397 - Posted: 07.08.2019

By Bret Stetka The pathology of a stroke is deceptively complicated. In the simplest sense, strokes occur when the blood supply to a particular region of the brain is interrupted, cutting off the area to oxygen and nutrients. This deprivation results in injury and death to the local brain cells. But for days after the breach in blood flow, the immune system also does its own fair share of damage to the already injured brain through an inflammatory response. New research by a group at Stanford University has identified a subset of immune cells that drive brain injury following a stroke, raising the possibility that immune-system inhibition might be a promising treatment for a blood-deprived brain. More surprising is that much of the immune reaction to a stroke appears to begin in the gut, shedding new light on our ever evolving understanding of the gut-brain axis. The research was published on July 1 in Nature Immunology. Strokes manifest in two ways: either an artery in the brain bursts—causing a hemorrhagic stroke—or it becomes clogged, typically by a blood clot, causing the far more common ischemic stroke. In the new study, the authors used positron-emission tomography to scan immune system activity in mice that had the blood in a single cerebral artery interrupted for 45 minutes, mimicking an ischemic stroke. © 2019 Scientific American

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 19: Language and Lateralization; Chapter 15: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Brain Asymmetry, Spatial Cognition, and Language; Chapter 11: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Link ID: 26381 - Posted: 07.03.2019

By Jane E. Brody Strange as it may seem, the massive stroke Ted Baxter suffered in 2005 at age 41, leaving him speechless and paralyzed on his right side, was a blessing in more ways than one. Had the clot, which started in his leg, lodged in his lungs instead of his brain, the doctors told him he would have died from a pulmonary embolism. And as difficult as it was for him to leave his high-powered professional life behind and replace it with a decade of painstaking recovery, the stroke gave his life a whole new and, in many ways, more rewarding purpose. Before the stroke, Mr. Baxter’s intense work-focused life as a globe-trotting executive in international finance had eroded his marriage and deprived him of fulfilling relationships with family and friends. Unable to relax even on vacation, he rarely took time to smell the roses. Now, he told me, he leads a richer, calmer, happier life as a volunteer educator for stroke victims and their caregivers and for the therapists who treat them. The stroke began with a cramping pain in his leg after a long international flight during which he wore compression hose to support his varicose veins. He didn’t take the pain seriously until suddenly he couldn’t talk or move the right side of his body. The clot that caused his leg pain had broken loose and cut off blood flow to the left side of his brain. From the team at NYT Parenting: Get the latest news and guidance for parents. We'll celebrate the little parenting moments that mean a lot — and share stories that matter to families. © 2019 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 19: Language and Lateralization
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Brain Asymmetry, Spatial Cognition, and Language
Link ID: 26371 - Posted: 07.01.2019

By Michelle Roberts Health editor, BBC News online Patients who have had a stroke caused by bleeding in the brain can safely take aspirin to cut their risk of future strokes and heart problems, according to a new study. Aspirin thins the blood and so doctors have been cautious about giving it, fearing it could make bleeds worse. But The Lancet research suggests it does not increase the risk of new brain bleeds, and may even lower it. Experts say the "strong indication" needs confirming with more research. Only take daily aspirin if your doctor recommends it, they advise. Aspirin benefits and risks Aspirin is best known as a painkiller and is sometimes also taken to help bring down a fever. But daily low-dose (75mg) aspirin is used to make the blood less sticky and can help to prevent heart attacks and stroke. Most strokes are caused by clots in the blood vessels of the brain but some are caused by bleeds. Because aspirin thins the blood, it can sometimes make the patient bleed more easily. And aspirin isn't safe for everyone. It can also cause indigestion and, more rarely, lead to stomach ulcers. Never give aspirin to children under the age of 16 (unless their doctor prescribes it). It can make children more likely to develop a very rare but serious illness called Reye's syndrome (which can cause liver and brain damage). The study The research involved 537 people from across the UK who had had a brain bleed while taking anti-platelet medicines, to stop blood clotting, including aspirin, dipyridamole or another drug called clopidogrel. Half of the patients were chosen at random to continue on their medicine (following a short pause immediately after their brain bleed), while the other half were told to stop taking it Over the five years of the study, 12 of those who kept taking the tablets suffered a brain bleed, compared with 23 of those who stopped © 2019 BBC

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 19: Language and Lateralization
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Brain Asymmetry, Spatial Cognition, and Language
Link ID: 26263 - Posted: 05.23.2019

Nicola Davis A low level of alcohol consumption does not protect against stroke, new research suggests, in the latest blow to the idea that a few drinks can be beneficial to health. At least 100,000 people have strokes in the UK every year, according to recent figures. It had been thought that low levels of alcohol consumption might have a protective effect against stroke, as well as other diseases and conditions. Now researchers say that in the case of stroke, even low levels of alcohol consumption are bad news. “Moderate drinking of about one or two drinks a day does not protect against stroke,” said Dr Iona Millwood, co-author of the study from the University of Oxford. Advertisement The results chime with a major study released last year which concluded there is no healthy level of drinking. Writing in the Lancet, researchers from the UK and China described how they examined the impact of alcohol on stroke using a type of natural experiment. About a third of people from east Asia have genetic variants that affect the way alcohol is broken down in the body, which can make drinking an unpleasant experience and lead to flushed skin. People with these genetic variants are known to drink less – a situation confirmed by the latest study – but who has these genetic variants is random, meaning they can appear in people regardless of their social situation or health. As a result, the team were able to look at the impact of drinking on the risk of stroke without many of the other issues that can muddy the waters. © 2019 Guardian News & Media Limited

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 19: Language and Lateralization; Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Brain Asymmetry, Spatial Cognition, and Language; Chapter 4: The Chemistry of Behavior: Neurotransmitters and Neuropharmacology
Link ID: 26118 - Posted: 04.06.2019

By Emilia Clarke Just when all my childhood dreams seemed to have come true, I nearly lost my mind and then my life. I’ve never told this story publicly, but now it’s time. It was the beginning of 2011. I had just finished filming the first season of “Game of Thrones,” a new HBO series based on George R. R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” novels. With almost no professional experience behind me, I’d been given the role of Daenerys Targaryen, also known as Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Lady of Dragonstone, Breaker of Chains, Mother of Dragons. As a young princess, Daenerys is sold in marriage to a musclebound Dothraki warlord named Khal Drogo. It’s a long story—eight seasons long—but suffice to say that she grows in stature and in strength. She becomes a figure of power and self-possession. Before long, young girls would dress in platinum wigs and flowing robes to be Daenerys Targaryen for Halloween. The show’s creators, David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, have said that my character is a blend of Napoleon, Joan of Arc, and Lawrence of Arabia. And yet, in the weeks after we finished shooting the first season, despite all the looming excitement of a publicity campaign and the series première, I hardly felt like a conquering spirit. I was terrified. Terrified of the attention, terrified of a business I barely understood, terrified of trying to make good on the faith that the creators of “Thrones” had put in me. I felt, in every way, exposed. In the very first episode, I appeared naked, and, from that first press junket onward, I always got the same question: some variation of “You play such a strong woman, and yet you take off your clothes. Why?” In my head, I’d respond, “How many men do I need to kill to prove myself?” © 2019 Condé Nast

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 19: Language and Lateralization
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Brain Asymmetry, Spatial Cognition, and Language
Link ID: 26068 - Posted: 03.23.2019

Aimee Cunningham How active a person’s immune system is soon after a stroke may be tied to later mental declines, a new study finds. Researchers took blood samples from 24 stroke patients up to nine times over the course of a year. Twelve of the patients also completed a mental-skills test at four points during that time. Patients who had highly active immune cells on the second day after a stroke were more likely to see their test scores decline a year later, researchers report online March 12 in Brain. “The people who either got better on the task or stayed the same had less of an immune response at day 2 [after the stroke], and the people who had more of an immune response at day 2 were more likely to decline and do worse later,” says study coauthor Marion Buckwalter, a neuroscientist at Stanford University School of Medicine. A stroke occurs when the brain loses oxygen, due to a blocked or burst blood vessel. Buckwalter and her colleagues used a technique called mass cytometry that analyzes thousands of immune cells and their signaling molecules — which indicate how active a cell is — from blood samples of patients who had suffered a stroke. The researchers also tested patients’ memory, concentration, language skills and other thinking skills using the Montreal Cognitive Assessment. It’s unclear why some patients have a more active immune response than others in the days after a stroke. But with more research, it’s possible that the response may be a way to predict which patients will fare worse after a stroke, the researchers say. |© Society for Science & the Public 2000 - 2019

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 19: Language and Lateralization; Chapter 15: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Brain Asymmetry, Spatial Cognition, and Language; Chapter 11: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Link ID: 26026 - Posted: 03.13.2019

By Karen Weintraub A widely criticized experiment last year saw a researcher in China delete a gene in twin girls at the embryonic stage in an attempt to protect them from HIV. A new study suggests that using a drug to delete the same gene in people with stroke or traumatic brain injuries could help improve their recovery. The new work shows the benefits of turning off the gene in stroke-induced mice by using the drug, already approved as an HIV treatment. It also focuses on a sample of people who were naturally born without the gene. People without the gene recover faster and more completely from stroke than the general population does, the researchers found. The combined results suggest the drug might boost recovery in humans after a stroke or traumatic brain injury, says S. Thomas Carmichael, the study’s senior researcher and a neurologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, David Geffen School of Medicine. His team has started a follow-up human study to test the drug’s efficacy. The combination of mouse research and leveraging of people’s genetic data to confirm the relevance of drug targets makes the new research a “landmark paper,” says Jin-Moo Lee, co-director of the Barnes–Jewish Hospital and Washington University Stroke and Cerebrovascular Center in Saint Louis who was not involved with the work. © 2019 Scientific American

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 19: Language and Lateralization
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Brain Asymmetry, Spatial Cognition, and Language
Link ID: 25981 - Posted: 02.22.2019

By Sam Rose One of neuroscience’s foundational experiments wasn’t performed in a Nobel laureate’s lab, but occurred in a railyard in 1848 when an accidental explosion sent a tamping iron through 25 year-old Phineas Gage’s forehead. Gage survived, but those studying his history detailed distinct personality changes resulting from the accident. He went from even-tempered to impulsive and profane. The case is likely the earliest—and most famous—of using a “lesion” to link a damaged brain region to its function. In the ensuing decades, to study the brain was to study lesions. Lesion cases fed most of the era’s knowledge of the brain. One might think that modern neuroscience, with its immense toolkit of experimental techniques, no longer needs lesions like Gage’s to parse the brain’s inner workings. Lesion studies, though, seem to be having a revival. A new method called lesion network mapping is clearing the cobwebs off the lesion study and uniting it with modern brain connectivity data. The results are revealing surprising associations between brain regions and disorders. Thankfully, most lesions aren’t a tamping iron through the forehead. Strokes, hemorrhages, or tumors make up most lesion cases. 19th century neurologists like Paul Broca made foundational discoveries by studying patients with peculiar symptoms resulting from these common neurological insults. Broca and his contemporaries synthesized a theory of the brain from lesions: that the brain is segmented. Different regions control different functions. Lesion studies lend a lawyerly logic to the brain: if region X is destroyed and function Y no longer occurs, then region X must control function Y. Advertisement © 2018 Scientific American,

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 19: Language and Lateralization; Chapter 18: Attention and Higher Cognition
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Brain Asymmetry, Spatial Cognition, and Language; Chapter 14: Attention and Consciousness
Link ID: 25626 - Posted: 10.31.2018

By Diana Kwon In an ischemic stroke a clot blocks a blood vessel to the brain, depriving oxygen and nutrients to part of the crucial organ. Without immediate treatment this can cause irreversible tissue damage, leading to complications ranging from behavioral changes to paralysis. Stroke is the fifth-highest cause of death in the U.S., and the leading cause of long-term disability. Ischemic strokes are the most common type, accounting for more than 80 percent of all cases. Until recently the only treatment available for ischemic stroke was tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, a protein that can dissolve blood clots if injected up to four and a half hours after stroke onset. Care has improved dramatically in the last few years as advances in thrombectomy—surgical clot removal—have allowed doctors to clear larger blockages and treat patients up to 24 hours after symptoms began. Even after successful clot removal, however, the rush of blood back into the brain and the dying tissue left behind can lead to additional complications such as inflammation. To address this problem, researchers have been searching for more than 30 years for drugs that could protect the brain from damage after an ischemic stroke. More than a thousand compounds have been investigated in animal studies, and many have made it to clinical trials in people—with little success. “It’s been very disappointing for me and hundreds of other investigators that everything seems to work in animals and nothing works in humans,” says Susan Fagan, a clinical pharmacologist at The University of Georgia. “Neuroprotection is a hard nut to crack.” © 2018 Scientific American

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 19: Language and Lateralization; Chapter 15: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Brain Asymmetry, Spatial Cognition, and Language; Chapter 11: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Link ID: 25088 - Posted: 06.14.2018

By Lauren Waldron, M.D. I was on a camping trip in Jackson Hole with my cousins at 4 years old when I realized there was something different about me. We were climbing a tree and I saw that, unlike me, my cousins used both hands to navigate its branches. Because I had a stroke when I was 8 months old, the right side of my body is hypertonic, meaning it does not move easily. I got stuck in the tree (as usual), and my mom had to come to get me down. As my cousins hopped out of the tree without difficulty and ran off, a question came to me. I asked my mom, for the first time, “Mommy, do all kids have a stroke when they are babies?” A pause. “No, sweetheart. They don’t.” What had moments before been a benign fact of my existence suddenly became a frustrating impediment. I was angry that my right arm and leg were always stuck when I wanted to move them. It was not fair. “Can I not have a stroke?” I asked. “I don’t want it.” My parents had never been secretive about my stroke. My earliest memories include my parents telling me that when I was a baby a blood vessel in my brain had broken and bled. The bleeding had damaged a part of the left side of my brain called the left internal capsule, which helps to control movement on the right side of my body. That was why my right fingers didn’t move, why my right arm was stiff, why I wore a leg brace, and why I went to physical therapy. But until that day in the tree, I never thought that having a blood vessel bleed in my brain made me different. Twenty-three years later, as a medical student at Temple University, I stood in a pediatric exam room listening to my attending speak to our patient’s mother. He was describing motor deficits the 2-year-old would likely experience after surgeons removed the part of her brain causing her seizures. © 2018 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 19: Language and Lateralization
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Brain Asymmetry, Spatial Cognition, and Language
Link ID: 25066 - Posted: 06.07.2018

Sheryl Ubelacker · A little over a year ago, Julie Tomaino had a stroke that affected both sides of her brain, leaving her "locked in" — conscious but unable to speak or move — for about 10 days. The former professional dancer who works in theatre directing and choreographing plays was just 38 years old. "I couldn't respond to anything and I could just move my eyeballs," the Toronto resident recalled Monday from Vancouver Island, where she is in rehearsals for a production of the musical Grease. Tomaino had been having daily headaches for two weeks and knew there was something seriously wrong. But after examining her earlier that day at the hospital, doctors had sent her home with a diagnosis of migraine and anxiety. That evening, she started vomiting uncontrollably and began experiencing double vision. Her husband called an ambulance and she remembers being put into the vehicle. "And then it's all black for 12 hours." Tomaino had suffered a major stroke, the result of the inner carotid arteries on both sides of her neck dissecting, or tearing, which caused blood to pool in the vessels and send clots to her brain. While stroke at her age isn't all that common — the average female victim is close to four decades older — her story illustrates a message the Heart and Stroke Foundation is trying to bring to public awareness with a report released Tuesday showing how stroke can affect women differently than men. ©2018 CBC/Radio-Canada

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 19: Language and Lateralization; Chapter 12: Sex: Evolutionary, Hormonal, and Neural Bases
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Brain Asymmetry, Spatial Cognition, and Language; Chapter 8: Hormones and Sex
Link ID: 25058 - Posted: 06.05.2018

By NICHOLAS BAKALAR Taking saunas may reduce the risk for stroke. Researchers studied 1,628 men and women aged 53 to 74, free of stroke at the start. They had data on body mass index, alcohol consumption, smoking, blood pressure, blood lipid levels, and other health and behavioral characteristics that affect cardiovascular health. The participants reported how often they took traditional Finnish saunas and how long they stayed in the sauna, and the researchers followed them for an average of 15 years. There were 155 strokes over the period. The study is in the journal Neurology. After adjusting for other variables, they found that compared with people who took saunas once a week, those who took them two to three times weekly were 12 percent less likely to have a stroke. People who took saunas four to seven times a week reduced their risk for stroke by 62 percent. Although the researchers found a strong effect independent of other variables, the study was observational and cannot prove causality. Still, there are plausible reasons saunas might be protective. “Temperature increases, even of 1 or 2 degrees Celsius, can limit inflammatory processes in the body and reduce arterial stiffness,” said the senior author, Dr. Jari A. Laukkanen, a professor of medicine at the University of Eastern Finland. “It’s possible that steam rooms or hot tubs could produce similar results.” © 2018 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 19: Language and Lateralization
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Brain Asymmetry, Spatial Cognition, and Language
Link ID: 24934 - Posted: 05.03.2018

by Kevin Sheth Recently, I cared for an 82-year-old grandfather who was having some trouble opening a jar of jelly. Twenty minutes later, the fork he was using fell out of his hand. Feeling tired, he laid down, and on waking four hours later, he and his wife discovered that his arm was flaccid. That’s when they called 911 and he was taken to a local hospital. The hospital wasn’t a specialized stroke center and transferred him to Yale New Haven Hospital, where I work and where he arrived two hours after his original emergency response call — and almost seven hours from when his symptoms first started. That was too late to prevent permanent disability. As a neurologist, every single day I am left unable to help victims of stroke, despite an effective treatment in hand, simply because they arrived too late. The blood clots in the brain that cause strokes irreversibly change who we are and burden our families. Strokes strike nearly 800,000 Americans each year, killing 140,000 and at a cost to society of $34 billion annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For over two decades, neurologists and emergency providers have had a drug available that can restore blood flow to the brain, limiting damage, but only 4 percent of stroke patients receive the medication. The drug, known as tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), is a potent blood thinner and was approved as an effective clot-busting treatment by the Food and Drug Administration in 1996. The rub is that patients must receive the medication in the first few hours after experiencing a stroke for it to work. © 1996-2018 The Washington Post

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 19: Language and Lateralization
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Brain Asymmetry, Spatial Cognition, and Language
Link ID: 24841 - Posted: 04.09.2018

By Melissa Healy Despite years of effort, researchers have so far failed to find a pill you could take or a food you could eat to harden your brain against the injury that could be caused by a stroke. But new research offers the prospect of limiting a stroke's long-term damage in a different way: with a drug that enhances the brain's ability to rewire itself and promote recovery in the weeks and months after injury. In experiments, both mice and macaque monkeys that suffered strokes regained more movement and dexterity when their rehabilitative regimen included an experimental medication called edonerpic maleate. The drug, which has already run a gauntlet of safety trials as a possible medication for Alzheimer's disease, appears to have enhanced the effectiveness of rehab by strengthening the connections between brain cells and nourishing the chemical soup in which those cells forge those new connections. A report on the experiments appears in Friday's edition of the journal Science. The work was conducted by researchers at Yokohama City University School of Medicine and employees of Toyama Chemical Co., Ltd., a Japanese pharmaceutical firm that owns intellectual property rights to edonerpic maleate. Toyama provided funding for Yokohama City University to study the drug in macaque monkeys. The findings from the mice shed important light on how edonerpic maleate may work in an injured brain.

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 19: Language and Lateralization; Chapter 17: Learning and Memory
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 15: Brain Asymmetry, Spatial Cognition, and Language; Chapter 13: Memory, Learning, and Development
Link ID: 24835 - Posted: 04.07.2018