Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Mystery blood vessel disorder implicated in ’mini’ strokes


Physicians have long been puzzled by a condition called intracranial arterial dolichoectasia, in which the larger arteries of the brain become elongated and misshapen. Typically, it has been considered a complication of atherosclerosis ("hardening of the arteries"), and not directly life-threatening. However, there is recent evidence that people with dolichoectasia are more likely to have aortic aneurysms, a potentially fatal weakening of the main artery that carries blood out from the heart. In an article published online February 28, 2005 in the Annals of Neurology the same French researchers who linked dolichoectasia with aortic aneurysm reveal new evidence that links the disorder with small vessel disease, a significant cause of lacunar or "mini" strokes that can damage small areas of the brain.

Depending on which area of the brain is affected, the strokes can impair functions such as movement, physical control of speech, or coordination. Multiple lacunar strokes can also cause cognitive and memory deficits that resemble Alzheimer’s disease.

According to the authors, physicians who encounter patients with small vessel disease should look for evidence of dolichoectasia. "If dolichoectasia is present, you should look for an associated abdominal aortic aneurysm and carefully search for associated cardiac symptoms," said author Pierre Amarenco, M.D., of Bichat University Hospital in Paris.

Beyond the immediate clinical implications, the study may offer more important clues for further research. It may be that dolichoectasia causes or contributes to small vessel disease, and/or that the two have common causes.

Nearly a quarter of all strokes arise from blood flow problems in the smallest blood vessels of the brain. Patients with the disease are usually found to have high blood pressure, but the causes of the disease are unknown.

Using MRI, Amarenco and his colleagues studied 510 patients who had suffered strokes and found that the subset of patients with dolichoectasia were more likely to have evidence of small vessel disease. Indeed, there was a direct relationship between the diameter of the basilar artery, the cranial artery most often affected in dolichoectasia, and the severity of small vessel disease.

"This study is the first to show an association between intracranial arterial dolichoectasia and the whole spectrum of small vessel disease abnormalities, thus defining a new cerebrovascular syndrome," said Amarenco.

The researchers will continue to follow the patients in this study (the GENIC study) to try to determine which vascular or genetic factors contribute to the syndrome. They will also attempt to replicate their MRI data in an autopsy study of patients who died with dolichoectasia.

David Greenberg | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Advanced analysis of brain structure shape may track progression to Alzheimer's disease
26.10.2016 | Massachusetts General Hospital

nachricht Indian roadside refuse fires produce toxic rainbow
26.10.2016 | Duke University

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: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

How nanoscience will improve our health and lives in the coming years

27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

OU-led team discovers rare, newborn tri-star system using ALMA

27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>