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Poor sleep is associated with ischemic heart disease and stroke

Poor sleep is associated with ischemic heart disease and stroke

Poor sleep is associated with ischaemic heart disease and stroke, according to research presented at ESC Congress 2017 in Barcelona, Spain. The observational study in nearly 13,000 people revealed different patterns of sleep disturbance between the two conditions, with ischaemic heart disease being linked to shorter sleep and brief moments of waking up.

“Poor sleep is associated with cardiovascular diseases such as ischaemic heart disease and stroke but the kind of sleep disturbances that are most risky is not well documented,” said lead researcher Dr Nobuo Sasaki, of the Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Casualty Council, Japan. “‘Poor sleep’ includes too short or too long sleep, difficulty falling asleep, and difficulty maintaining sleep.” (more…)

Stroke patient improvement with a brain-computer interface

Stroke patient improvement with a brain-computer interface

University of Adelaide researchers have shown that it is possible for stroke patients to improve motor function using special training involving connecting brain signals with a computer.

In a “proof-of-principle” study published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, the researchers described how this brain-computer interface (BCI) produced a 36% improvement in motor function of a stroke-damaged hand. (more…)

Stroke patient improvement with a brain-computer interface

How low should LDL cholesterol go?

New analysis shows that in a high-risk population, achieving ultra-low LDL cholesterol levels, down to <10 mg/dL, safely results in additional lowering of risk of cardiovascular events.

A newer class of cholesterol lowering drugs known as PCSK9 inhibitors has emerged as an effective treatment for drastically lowering LDL cholesterol beyond current treatment targets. Earlier this year, results from a clinical trial led by investigators at Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that the PCSK9 inhibitor evolocumab, when added to statin therapy, resulted in a significant reduction in the risk for cardiovascular events and was safe. (more…)

Stroke patient improvement with a brain-computer interface

Anticoagulants used for arrhythmia can have different thrombus formation rates

Anticoagulants are recommended for atrial fibrillation due to the high risk of stroke. However, bleeding complications can occur as a side effect. Researchers in Japan examined several types of anticoagulants and found that the rates of thrombus formation are different according to the type of drug. This difference may be related to the risk of side effects, especially intracranial bleeding.

Atrial fibrillation is an arrhythmia signified by rapid and irregular beating of the upper chambers of the heart (atria). Anticoagulant therapy is recommended for atrial fibrillation because thrombi formed by stagnated blood in the atrium can cause stroke. In addition to the conventional anticoagulant warfarin, direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) have become widely used. DOACs can selectively inhibit coagulation factors, whereas warfarin cannot. (more…)

Stroke patient improvement with a brain-computer interface

Closure of left atrial appendage during heart surgery protects the brain

Closure of the left atrial appendage during heart surgery protects the brain, according to late-breaking research presented in a Hot Line LBCT Session at ESC Congress. The results suggest that closure should be routinely added to open heart surgery.

“This is the first randomised study to show that closure of the left atrial appendage during open heart surgery effectively protects against brain infarctions and stroke,” said Assoc Prof Helena Domínguez, the cardiologist who designed the study. (more…)

Stroke patient improvement with a brain-computer interface

Atrial fibrillation and blood pressure: more than just a number

New research presented at ESC Congress today shows, for the first time, that blood pressure control is pivotal in reducing major bleeding and stroke risk in patients with atrial fibrillation (AF).

The range of variability in a patient’s systolic blood pressure (SBP) from visit to visit was strongly associated with their risk of adverse outcomes, reported Dr Marco Proietti, MD, from the Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, University of Birmingham.

“Our findings suggest that consistency in blood pressure control, beyond the single measurement, is very important, and this appears to be the case across all types of AF patients, irrespective of age, blood pressure history, blood pressure level or clotting risk,” said Dr. Proietti. (more…)