Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Changes in deep brain tissue signal an increased risk for strokes

18.07.2003


Changes in the brain’s white matter, a common occurrence among the elderly, increase a person’s risk of having multiple strokes, according to a report in today’s rapid access issue of Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

White matter is the inner part of the brain, through which most of the brain’s nerve connections pass. Leukoaraiosis - the scattered loss of white matter in the brain - is particularly associated with strokes caused by blockages in small arteries deep in the brain (lacunar strokes).

"These small strokes can be devastating when they hit strategic connections," says lead author Jonathan Y. Streifler, M.D., director of the Neurology Unit at the Rabin Medical Center Golda Campus in Petach-Tikva, Israel.



This is the first long-term follow-up study investigating the development of leukoaraiosis and patient prognosis, Streifler says. The research, a substudy of a large international study, found that people who develop the condition were 1.5 times more likely to have a stroke than people without the condition and almost twice as likely to have more than one stroke.

"Patients who developed leukoaraiosis were more likely to have multiple strokes, which generally lead to increased disability, both physically and mentally," Streifler says.

He and colleagues studied 685 patients with carotid artery disease who participated in the 2,885-patient North American Symptomatic Carotid Endarterectomy Trial (NASCET). The participants ranged in age from 34 to 84. Only those with a follow-up computed tomography (CT) scan taken three years or more from entry were included in the substudy. Although the multicenter, randomized study began in the United States and Canada, it was later expanded to other countries, including Israel, Australia and several in Europe.

Previous findings from NASCET showed no link between leukoaraiosis and the severity of narrowing of the arteries supplying the brain, Streifler says. However, a recent study by the authors identified the presence of leukoaraiosis (observed at a baseline CT scan) as a risk factor for stroke and death from vascular disease, including heart attack.

"Leukoaraiosis is frequently found by computed tomography (CT) scans in elderly patients, particularly those with dementia or a history of stroke or hypertension," Streifler says. "Yet little is known about its development and progression, or its underlying mechanisms and risk factors."

Of the 685 patients at entry in the study, 596 had no leukoaraiosis and 89 had limited white matter loss when they entered NASCET. During an average follow-up of 6.1 years, 18 percent of the 596 patients initially free of leukoaraiosis developed some loss of white matter and 3 percent had widespread loss. The average age of patients who developed leukoaraiosis was 66.8. The average age of those who didn’t was 62.9.

Significantly more of the patients who developed leukoaraiosis than those who didn’t had at least one stroke – 36 percent versus 23.5 percent. After adjusting for gender, age, smoking history and diseases, including hypertension and diabetes mellitus, the researchers found that the patients who developed leukoaraiosis were 1.5 times more likely to have a stroke.

About 11 percent of patients who developed a loss of white matter had more than one stroke, compared to about 6 percent of those without a loss.

Streifler says age appears to be the most important risk factor for developing leukoaraiosis. Other factors that were somewhat associated with increased risk were diabetes mellitus, leg pain and calf cramps caused by poor blood circulation, and low levels of cholesterol. Hypertension, angina attacks, and a previous heart attack also increased the risk, but not significantly.

"There is not much we can do about age; however, controlling other risk factors, such as hypertension and diabetes, may prevent or control leukoaraiosis, and improve the outcome of patients," he says.

Carole Bullock | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://strokeassociation.org
http://www.americanheart.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht PET imaging tracks Zika virus infection, disease progression in mouse model
20.09.2017 | US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases

nachricht 'Exciting' discovery on path to develop new type of vaccine to treat global viruses
18.09.2017 | University of Southampton

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: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

Im Focus: Fast, convenient & standardized: New lab innovation for automated tissue engineering & drug

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.

MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...

Im Focus: Silencing bacteria

HZI researchers pave the way for new agents that render hospital pathogens mute

Pathogenic bacteria are becoming resistant to common antibiotics to an ever increasing degree. One of the most difficult germs is Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Molecular Force Sensors

20.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Producing electricity during flight

20.09.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

20.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>