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 Penn studies find promise for innovations in liquid biopsies
30.03.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

nachricht 'On-off switch' brings researchers a step closer to potential HIV vaccine
30.03.2017 | University of Nebraska-Lincoln

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: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

'On-off switch' brings researchers a step closer to potential HIV vaccine

30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

Penn studies find promise for innovations in liquid biopsies

30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

An LED-based device for imaging radiation induced skin damage

30.03.2017 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>