Fewer Heart Attacks and Strokes After Trans-Fat Restriction Laws in New York

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Eric J. Brandt, MD Yale University Cardiovascular Disease Fellow

Dr. Eric Brandt

Eric J. Brandt, MD
Yale University
Cardiovascular Disease Fellow

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: From previous studies we know that industrial trans fatty acid (trans fat) consumption is linked to elevated risk for cardiovascular disease. Even small amounts of consumption can be deleterious to cardiovascular health. In New York state, there were 11 counties that restricted the use of trans fatty acids in eateries. We compared hospitalization for heart attacks and stroke from 2002 through 2013 in counties that did and did not have restrictions.

Our study found that when comparing populations within New York state that restricted the use of trans fat, compared to those that did not, there was an associated additional decline beyond temporal trends for heart attacks and stroke events combined by 6.2%.

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Risk Factors and Stroke Rising Among Young Adults

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Mary G. George, MD, MSPH Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Atlanta, Georgia

Dr. George

Mary G. George, MD, MSPH
Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Atlanta, Georgia

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States, killing more than 130,000 Americans each year—that’s 1 of every 20 deaths—and costs the nation $33 billion annually, including the cost of health care services, medications, and lost productivity.

And, stroke is leading cause of serious disability. An ischemic stroke, sometimes called a brain attack, is a stroke that occurs when there is a blockage of the blood supply to the brain.

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Why Do So Many Stroke Survivors Give Up On Preventive Medications?

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Anna De Simoni

NIHR Academic Clinical Lecturer in Primary Care Research
Centre for Primary Care and Public Health
Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry
London E1 2AB

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Three in 10 stroke survivors will go on to have a further stroke, which causes greater disability or even death. Secondary prevention medications, including antihypertensives, blood thinning and lipid lowering agents, such as statins, can reduce risk of stroke recurrence by up to 75 per cent. However, patients’ persistence with these medications decreases over time because a minority of people experience side effects, which are mild in most cases.

The analysis, involving Queen Mary University of London and the University of Cambridge and published in the journal Family Practice, was performed on the archives from TalkStroke, a UK online forum hosted by the Stroke Association. The forum is used by patients with stroke and their carers, and generated 21,596 posts during 2004-2011. 50 participants were found to discuss GP advice on prevention medications in 43 discussion threads.

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Ischemic Stroke: Collateral Blood Vessels Detected by Arterial Spin Labeling MRI Correlates With Good Neurological Outcome

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Jalal B. Andre M.D., D.A.B.R.®

Drector of neurological MRI and
MRI safety officer at Harborview Medical Center
University of Washington 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Acute ischemic stroke (AIS) patients with good collaterals have better clinical outcomes. AIS is characterized by an ischemic penumbra, a region of salvageable brain tissue, that surrounds a core of irreversible ischemic infarct. The penumbra is tenuously perfused by collateral blood vessels which, if extensive enough, can maintain penumbral perfusion, improving the odds that a larger volume of brain tissue will survive. Standard, first-line methods for evaluating collaterals in the acute setting include CT angiography, MR angiography, and (less commonly) digital subtraction angiography. Arterial spin labeling (ASL) is an emerging MRI technique that assesses cerebral perfusion. Its advantages include relatively short scan time (4-6 minutes), lack of ionizing radiation, and independence from an exogenous contrast agent (contraindicated in patients with impaired renal function or documented sensitivity). Collaterals can be identified within ASL images as foci of curvilinear hyperintensity bordering regions of hypoperfusion. We sought to explore a novel relationship between the presence of ASL collaterals (ASLc) and neurological outcome in acute ischemic stroke patients.

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Cannabis Users Have Increased Risk of Stroke and Heart Failure

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Aditi Kalla, MD Cardiology Research Fellow Einstein Medical Center, Philadelphia

Dr. Aditi Kalla

Aditi Kalla, MD
Cardiology Research Fellow
Einstein Medical Center
Philadelphia

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: As of the recent 2016 election, decriminalization of cannabis passed in several states bringing the total count up to 28 states and D.C. where cannabis is now legal for medicinal and/or recreational purposes. From a physician’s perspective, it is rare that a drug has “hit the market” so to speak without undergoing clinical trials to determine safety and efficacy. Hence, we sought out to study if cannabis had any effects (positive or negative) on the cardiovascular system.

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Appropriate Anticoagulation Underutilized in Atrial fibrillation

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Ying Xian
 MD PhD
Department of Neurology,
Duke Clinical Research Institute
Duke University Medical Center
Durham, North Carolina

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most common arrhythmia. AF increases the risk for stroke and accounts for 10% to 15% of all ischemic strokes. While the burden of AF-related stroke is high, AF is a potentially treatable risk factor. Numerous studies have demonstrated that vitamin K antagonists, such as warfarin, or non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants (NOACs), reduce the risk of ischemic stroke. Based on these data, current guidelines recommend adjusted-dose warfarin or NOACs over aspirin for stroke prevention in high-risk patients with Atrial fibrillation.

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Natural History of Ruptured But Untreated Intracranial Aneurysms

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Miikka Korja
Chief Innovation Officer
Neurosurgeon
Associate Professor of Neurosurgery
HUS, Helsinki University Hospital

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Helsinki University Hospital, one of the largest hospital organizations in industrialized countries, has a very long history in conducting studies on brain aneurysms and aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. The one and only study on the natural history of ruptured aneurysms has also been conducted in Helsinki 50 years ago (published in 1967). The term “natural history” refers to an approach where the cause of a patient’s disease is not treated at all. In this case, it means that ruptured aneurysms in patients with devastating brain hemorrhage, aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage, were left untreated.

Therefore, these patients have a high risk of a rebleeding from the once ruptured aneurysm. As ruptured aneurysms are nowadays unexceptionally treated, if the patient survives the primary bleeding event, such natural history studies are impractical to conduct.

We wanted to update the 50 years old data by using a historical patient registry. Back in the old days, many of aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage patients were not treated because for example surgery was considered too risky or patients were classified as too old for surgery. By using the historical data, we showed that aneurysmal SAH, if not treated, is even more devastating disease than believed. Based on our results, we can state that 75-89% of today’s patients die in a year without treatments.

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Migraine Associated With Cervical Artery Dissection In Some Young Adults

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Alessandro Pezzini, MD, FESO

Professore Associato di Neurologia
Dipartimento di Scienze Cliniche e Sperimentali
Clinica Neurologica
Università degli Studi di Brescia
Italia

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Scarce reports have suggested that a relation might exist between migraine and cervical artery dissection (CEAD), the most frequent cause of ischemic stroke in young adults in Western countries. However, data available so far were obtained from few studies conducted on small cohorts of patients, which limits the generalizability of their findings.

In our study we analysed the data from the Italian Project on Stroke in Young Adults (IPSYS) project, one of the largest registries of young ischemic stroke patients, and observed that migraine, especially the subtype without aura was strongly and independently associated to CEAD. This seems particularly true for men and for people younger than 39 years.

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Intensive Therapy Facilitates Language Recovery in Chronic Aphasia After Stroke

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Caterina Breitenstein, PhD
Department of General Neurology, University of Muenster, Germany
Annette Baumgärtner, PhD
Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Fresenius University of Applied Sciences, Hamburg, Germany

MedicalResearch.com : What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: For a long time, it has been assumed that language recovery is limited to the first months after the initial stroke. During the past two decades, however, several clinical studies and systematic reviews have challenged this dogma by demonstrating functional gains in stroke survivors during the chronic post-stroke stage (at least 6 months post the initial stroke) whenever speech and language therapy (SLT) intensity was sufficiently high (i.e., at least 5 h/week for several weeks). These studies, however, lacked the methodological quality required for evidence-based interventions (for criteria, please refer to http://www.cebm.net/ocebm-levels-of-evidence). Until now, this lack in evidence severely hampers stroke survivors’ access to language rehabilitation services .

The present multicenter randomized controlled healthcare trial FCET2EC (acronym stands for “From Controlled Experimental Trial to=2 Everyday Communication) is the first study worldwide to compare three weeks of intensive SLT provided under routine clinical conditions to an equally long period of no (or low intensity) SLT. After 3 weeks of intensive individualized therapy, the 156 stroke survivors with chronic aphasia verbally expressed themselves more effectively in daily-life communicative situations, like changing a doctor’s appointment by a telephone call. Additionally, patients and their significant other rated their communication-related quality of life as significantly improved.

Last but not least, therapy effects remained stable over a follow-up period of six months after the intensive intervention.

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Vagus Nerve Stimulation Safe and Feasible For Stroke Rehabilitation

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Jesse Dawson MD, BSc (Hons), FRCP, FESO Clinical Reader / Honorary Consultant Clinical Lead Scottish Stroke Research Network / NRS Stroke Research Champion Chair MVLS Research Ethics Committee Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences College of Medical, Veterinary & Life Sciences University of Glasgow

Dr. Jesse Dawson

Jesse Dawson MD, BSc (Hons), FRCP, FESO
Clinical Reader / Honorary Consultant
Clinical Lead Scottish Stroke Research Network / NRS Stroke Research Champion
Chair MVLS Research Ethics Committee
Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences
College of Medical, Veterinary & Life Sciences
University of Glasgow

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response:    Many patients suffer long term arm weakness after stroke and there are few effective treatments. We are assessing whether stimulation of the vagus nerve can improve recovery after stroke. Stimulation of the vagus nerve, called VNS for short, triggers the release of neurotransmitters in the brain. These neurotransmitters are important for learning and memory. Pre-clinical studies have shown that combining vagus nerve stimulation with movement or rehabilitation tasks enhances brain plasticity, improves motor learning and leads to better recovery after stroke.

Based on this, we performed a clinical trial in patients with arm weakness after stroke and found promising changes in the patients treated with VNS paired with rehabilitation compared to rehabilitation alone.

In this study we performed a double blind sham stimulation controlled study of VNS paired with rehabilitation vs sham stimulation in patients with long term arm weakness due to ischaemic stroke. All participants were implanted with a VNS device and underwent a course of therapy. We didn’t see a statistically significant difference after 6 weeks of intensive in-clinic therapy but saw a large and significant difference after a further 60 days home exercise treatment with VNS.  There were differences on several measures, including the clinical response rate which was 88% with VNS and 33% with controls.

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Pradaxa: Compared To Warfarin, Lower Risk of Stroke and Bleeding in Non-Valvular AFib

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Sabine Luik, M.D. Senior vice president, Medicine & Regulatory Affairs Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Dr. Sabine Luik

Sabine Luik, M.D.
Senior vice president, Medicine & Regulatory Affairs
Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Data from more than 20,000 patients with non-valvular atrial fibrillation (NVAF) were included in this study and the results demonstrate that Pradaxa® (dabigatran etexilate mesylate) was associated with a lower risk of stroke and major bleeding compared to warfarin. The study analyzed 7,245 PRADAXA patients and 14,490 warfarin patients with NVAF who had no prior use of an oral anticoagulant (OAC), using data from an administrative claims database from October 1, 2010, to April 30, 2014.

Compared to warfarin, PRADAXA was associated with a 26 percent reduced risk of stroke (HR, 0.74; 95% Cl, 0.58-0.94) and a 20 percent reduced risk of major bleeding (HR, 0.80; 95% Cl, 0.69-0.92). PRADAXA was associated with a lower risk for serious secondary outcomes, including a 68 percent reduced risk of hemorrhagic stroke (HR, 0.32; 95% Cl, 0.14-0.76), an 18 percent reduced risk of major extracranial bleeding (HR, 0.82; 95% Cl, 0.70-0.96), a 48 percent reduced risk of venous thromboembolism (HR, 0.52; 95% Cl, 0.38-0.70), and a 27 percent reduced risk of death (HR, 0.73; 95% Cl, 0.61-0.88).

MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: These results support the benefits of PRADAXA therapy for patients with NVAF and are consistent with those of previous studies evaluating PRADAXA and warfarin. Through a robust clinical trial, Pradaxa was proven superior to warfarin in reducing the risk of stroke in patients with NVAF.

MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Real-world data are critical for improving our understanding of treatment for patients with chronic conditions such as NVAF. We believe by working with diverse stakeholders to continue to study PRADAXA in the real world, we can help the community better understand gaps in treatment, identify opportunities to improve care and increase patient and physician assurance in treatment decisions.

MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: Pradaxa has the longest real-world experience of any available NOAC. This research includes seven clinical trials with more than 32,000 patients and real-world experience through 11 studies and assessments, including more than 120,000 PRADAXA patients with NVAF.

MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.

Citation:

INTERNATIONAL STROKE CONFERENCE ORAL ABSTRACTSSESSION TITLE: PREVENTIVE STRATEGIES ORAL ABSTRACTS
Abstract 75: Bleeding and Ischemic Stroke Risk in Patients with Atrial Fibrillation Standard or Low Dose Dabigatran and Concomitant P-gp Inhibitors
Mary Vaughan Sarrazin, Alexander Mazur, Michael P Jones, Elizabeth Chrischilles
Stroke. 2017;48:A75

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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Following Stroke, Children Face Behavioral and Emotional Difficulties

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Emily C. Maxwell, Ph.D. Pediatric Neuropsychology Bugher Fellow Division of Neurology Instructor | Department of Pediatrics University of Colorado School of Medicine Aurora, CO 80045

Dr. Maxwell

Emily C. Maxwell, Ph.D.
Pediatric Neuropsychology Bugher Fellow
Division of Neurology
Instructor | Department of Pediatrics
University of Colorado School of Medicine
Aurora, CO 80045 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Previous research has found increased psychological problems and significantly higher rates of psychiatric disorders after pediatric stroke. However, past studies have mainly used global indices, without comparison to age-based norms. Thus, little is known about the discrete symptomatology exhibited by these children and how discrepant these symptoms may be from normative expectations.

At the University of Colorado Denver and Children’s Hospital Colorado, we studied 50 patients who suffered an arterial ischemic stroke during childhood. The parents of these patients completed the Child Behavior Checklist, a questionnaire assessing emotional and behavioral problems. We found that children with stroke had higher symptoms of depression, anxiety, physical complaints, and behavioral difficulties compared to a normative sample of same-aged peers. Additionally, levels of anxiety were higher in children who had a stroke at an early age (before 6 years of age) compared to children who had a stroke at a later age (after 10 years of age).

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