Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Under 50? Silent duo could put you at risk for a big stroke

08.06.2010
Silent or covert strokes in young adults with first-ever ischemic stroke are associated with recurrent stroke

Being young doesn't mean you are immune to a stroke. You may feel healthy; you may be 18 or a vigorous 50. And yet you could be more vulnerable than you know. That could be because of the role played by silent risk factors in stroke.

Now, as a result of research from Hopital Notre Dame in Montreal, two silent factors − leukoaraiosis and silent brain infarcts − are not so silent any more.

Lead investigator, neurologist Dr. Alexandre Poppe, suggests that patients aged 18 to 50 who present with stroke should have brain MRIs to identify those who have experienced silent strokes, in an effort to prevent further damage.

Silent brain infarcts (SBI) are tiny strokes which can be seen on brain imaging but are asymptomatic; the patient is completely unaware of their occurrence, but this does not mean they are not causing damage.

Research tells us that these conditions are common in older adults with acute ischemic stroke and predict recurrent stroke and cognitive decline. Their presence can help neurologists assess the risk of future stroke-related disease and emphasize prevention. Now, in a world-first study, Dr. Poppe has shifted the focus from elderly patients to a much younger, under-investigated age group: 18 to 50 year-olds.

Dr. Poppe and his co-investigators studied 168 stroke patients in this younger age group, all of whom underwent MRI after a first stroke. They were followed for an average of 27 months. Over that time, stroke recurred in 11 per cent.

Those with silent or covert strokes identified on their MRI were three times more likely to experience a recurrent stroke than patients without these covert lesions.

"This study tells us that when younger people come in with a first stroke, they may already have signs of pre-existing damage in their brains," says Dr. Poppe. "We should pay particular attention to those who do, because they are at higher risk of having a second stroke, and prevention efforts need to be greatly emphasized."

"All young people with stroke should be scanned preferably using MRI," he says. "Doing a CT scan alone is often insufficient to pick up the brain changes caused by covert brain infarcts; with an MRI you can actually tell how old the lesions are. You can see if they occurred before the stroke."

Next, Dr. Poppe plans to determine if the location, size, and number of silent lesions have an impact not only on recurrent stroke but also cognitive decline.

"While MRI is helpful in young patients who've already had a stroke, at this stage it is too early to recommend screening for all 18-50 year-olds with a family history of stroke," he says.

"Stroke in the young is under-appreciated," says Canadian Stroke Network spokesperson Dr. Antoine Hakim. "Ten per cent of stroke patients are under 50."

He notes that with risk factors in all age groups increasing, it's especially important for younger adults to manage their stroke risk factors.

"Younger people may be becoming more vulnerable to stroke because of the larger number of Canadians indulging in unhealthy eating and living habits," says Dr. Hakim. "This may be accelerating the impact of risk factors, especially high blood pressure, which are now converging and have the potential to erase the progress we've made in treating heart disease and stroke over the last 50 years."

The recent Heart and Stroke Foundation report card on Canadians' health noted that young people are beginning their adult lives with multiple risk factors for heart disease and stroke.

"Over the past 15 years, Canada has seen significant increases in overweight and obesity, and diabetes mellitus," says Heart and Stroke Foundation spokesperson Dr. Michael Hill. "There are more than 250,000 young Canadians in their 20s and 30s with high blood pressure – the number one risk factor for stroke."

Dr. Hill recommends that adults of all ages pay attention to stroke risk factors, including high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, obesity, high blood cholesterol, physical inactivity, stress and excess alcohol consumption.

Canadians can find out their risk of heart disease and stroke by going to the Heart and Stroke Foundation's website (heartandstroke.ca) and taking the Heart&Stroke Risk AssessmentTM, a personalized risk profile and a customized action plan for healthy living that includes tips, tools, and recipes.

Dr. Poppe's research was presented at the Canadian Stroke Congress 2010, co-hosted by the Canadian Stroke Network, the Canadian Stroke Consortium, and the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Statements and conclusions of study authors are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect Foundation or CSN policy or position. The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and the Canadian Stroke Network make no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability.

The Canadian Stroke Network (canadianstrokenetwork.ca) includes more than 100 of Canada's leading scientists and clinicians from 24 universities who work collaboratively on various aspects of stroke. The network, which is headquartered at the University of Ottawa, also includes partners from industry, the non-profit sector, provincial and federal governments. The Canadian Stroke Network, one of Canada's Networks of Centres of Excellence, is committed to reducing the physical, social and economic impact of stroke on the lives of individual Canadians and on society as a whole.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation (heartandstroke.ca), a volunteer-based health charity, leads in eliminating heart disease and stroke and reducing their impact through the advancement of research and its application, the promotion of healthy living, and advocacy.

Jane-Diane Fraser | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.hsf.ca

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Team discovers how bacteria exploit a chink in the body's armor
20.01.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

nachricht Rabies viruses reveal wiring in transparent brains
19.01.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>