Research led by the head of the Barrow Neurological Institute and published in the July 20, 2017 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine reveals that subarachnoid hemorrhages, which are caused by ruptured brain aneurysms, account for 5-10 percent of all strokes and are best managed by experienced and dedicated experts at high-volume centers with neurosurgeons, endovascular surgeons and stroke neurologists.

The article was co-authored by Barrow President and CEO Michael T. Lawton, M.D. and G. Edward Vates, M.D., Ph.D, of the University of Rochester Medical Center’s Department of Neurosurgery. “Subarachnoid hemorrhage victims tend to be younger than typical stroke victims, and they risk a greater loss of productive life,” Dr. Lawton said. “It is critical that they receive the best treatment for aneurysms — like the multidisciplinary team approach and state-of-the-art therapy like that offered at Barrow.”

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A new University of Liverpool study, published in Wiley Brain and Behaviour, identifies simple measures that could substantially improve the quality of life of stroke survivors with visual impairments.

About two thirds of stroke survivors have visual impairment which typically relates to impaired central or peripheral vision, eye movement abnormalities, or visual perceptual defects.

Symptoms can include blurred or altered vision, double or jumbled vision, loss of visual field, reading difficulty, inability to recognize familiar objects or people and glare. Post stroke visual impairment (PSVI) is currently an under researched area.

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The overall rate of stroke in the United States has been declining in recent years and while that has been good news, a new study suggests it may be primarily good news for men. The research, published in the August 9, 2017, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, found that while the stroke rate for men declined during the study period, for women it remained the same.

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In the largest functional brain imaging study to date, the Amen Clinics (Newport Beach, CA) compared 46,034 brain SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography) imaging studies provided by nine clinics, quantifying differences between the brains of men and women. The study is published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Lead author, psychiatrist Daniel G. Amen, MD, founder of Amen Clinics, Inc., commented, “This is a very important study to help understand gender-based brain differences. The quantifiable differences we identified between men and women are important for understanding gender-based risk for brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. Using functional neuroimaging tools, such as SPECT, are essential to developing precision medicine brain treatments in the future.”

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People who survive a stroke or a mini-stroke without early complications have an increased risk of death, another stroke or heart attack (myocardial infarction) for at least 5 years following the initial stroke, found a new study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal)

“There is a real need to maintain risk reduction strategies, medical support and healthy lifestyle choices over the long-term, even years after a mild initial event,” said senior author Dr. Richard Swartz, a neurologist at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Toronto, Ontario.

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Is being born in states with high stroke mortality associated with dementia risk in a group of individuals who eventually all lived outside those states?

A new article published by JAMA Neurology reports the results of a study that examined that question in a group of 7,423 members of the integrated health care delivery system Kaiser Permanente Northern California.

A band of states in the southern United States is known as the Stroke Belt because living there has been associated with increased risk of a number of conditions, including high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke and cognitive impairment.

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Article by Jon Barrick, SAFE President

Published in Oruen – The CNS Journal – Volume 3 Issue 1 – July 2017


Oruen – The CNS Journal – Volume 3 Issue 1 – July 2017

“Time is brain” is a concept that perfectly encapsulates the need for swift action when stroke strikes. The sooner stroke symptoms are realised, the sooner the person gets the care they need, the greater the chances for survival and life with fewer disabilities.

What happens in Europe is that a person who has a stroke for example in Catalonia, Spain, and a person who has a stroke in Bulgaria will not receive the same care, which influences their chances of survival.

Stroke Alliance for Europe (SAFE) is a non-profit-making organisation that is a coalition currently of 30 Stroke Support Organisations from across Europe. These Stroke Support Organisations (SSO’s) mutual goal is to drive stroke prevention and care up the European and national political agendas, preventing stroke through education, and supporting stroke care and patient centered research. SAFE aims to raise awareness of the major impact stroke has on individuals, and on the health and economy of Europe.

The Burden of Stroke in Europe Report, commissioned by SAFE, conducted by King’s College in London and published in May 2017, has projected that between 2015 and 2035, overall there will be a 34% increase in the total number of stroke events in the EU (from 613,148 in 2015 to 819,771 in 2035). This means that stroke prevention should be a high priority for governments and health care systems. The research findings indicate that stroke is widely undertreated, with the risk factors not being controlled and treated the way they should be.

The Report painted a gloomy picture of the present situation when it comes to stroke and how much we know about the quality and extent of stroke care, which was variable across countries, but also indicated that public awareness campaigns were not regularly occurring. In many European countries people, in general, do not know what causes stroke and how to prevent it. For most of them, stroke is still an act of God, for which mistakenly they believe there is no treatment. Risk factors such as High Blood pressure and high cholesterol, Atrial Fibrillation, diet and lack of exercise can all be combatted.

When it comes to the acute phase, we know that stroke units save lives and improve outcomes, but we don’t have a Europe-wide applied pursuit of the essential elements of stroke unit care. Despite over thirty years of evidence showing the difference stroke units make and despite their inclusion in European and national guidelines, it is estimated that only about 30% of stroke patients receive stroke unit care across Europe. This figure masks startling inequalities between countries, and in particular the East-West divide in stroke unit provision.

Please read the full article here.

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