Ask the Doctors: December 2017

At my last checkup, my doctor said I was prediabetic, but he didnt prescribe medication. Will changing my diet and exercising be enough to bring my blood sugar levels down?I recently suffered what I thought was a stroke, but it turned out to be a transient ischemic attack (TIA). What can I do to prevent a full-blown stroke?

Heart Beat: December 2017

Watching television seems like a harmless enough activity, but the more hours of TV you watch on a regular basis, the higher your risk of death from cardiovascular disease, cancer and other causes. Of course, the TV itself is not at fault; its the prolonged sitting thats dangerous.

Deep Brain Stimulation May Help Stroke Patients During Recovery

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is a delicate surgical procedure typically used to treat symptoms of Parkinsons disease and other neurological conditions. DBS uses electrical signals to target areas of the brain that affect movement, while also blocking abnormal nerve signals causing symptoms such as tremors and muscle freezing. But Cleveland Clinic researchers are encouraged by an ongoing study that suggests DBS may help stroke patients regain better muscle control.

Bioabsorbable Stents; Caffeine and Heart Failure; Proton Pump Inhibitors

Every year Cleveland Clinic doctors and other health experts compose a list of treatments, tools, and trends that are likely to be medical breakthroughs in the year ahead. Among the items on Cleveland Clinics Top 10 Medical Innovations for 2017 are a few that affect cardiovascular health. A small study of heart failure patients found that drinking caffeinated coffee every day didnt raise their risk of abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias). If you take a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) for heartburn, you may be putting yourself at a higher risk for an ischemic stroke, according to a study presented at the most recent American Heart Association conference.

Ask the Doctors: November 2016

Both strokes and TIAs (mini-strokes) are caused by an obstruction of blood flow to the brain due to clots or narrowed arteries. The blockage with a TIA is temporary, with symptoms similar to those for stroke but resolving in less than 24 hours. The Framingham Heart Study and others have shown a relationship between elevated triglycerides (TGs) and future cardiovascular (CVD) risk. This increased risk remains present even on statin therapy, particularly when associated with low HDL cholesterol.

Blood Thinners Key to Preventing Stroke from Atrial Fibrillation

If you have ever felt your heart racing or jumping, you have experienced the symptoms of atrial fibrillation (afib). Its a distressing-even frightening-sensation that usually resolves in a few seconds. But if it lasts more than several days or returns from time to time, it can increase your risk of stroke five-fold.

Stroke Risks, Whole Grains, Blood Pressure, and Music for Anxiety

Unhealthy behaviors, such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, a sedentary lifestyle, and a poor diet, account for more days of stroke disability than traditional risk factors, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Including more whole grains in your diet may help reduce your odds of dying from cardiovascular disease, some cancers and many other causes. Individuals who had substantial blood pressure fluctuations over a five-year period experienced faster declines in cognitive function and brain health, compared with those who maintained a more consistent blood pressure during that same time. Listening to relaxing music every day may help you cope better emotionally and physically after a heart attack.

Heart Beat: April 2016

In 2014, the Eighth Joint National Committee (JNC 8) issued a report that proposed a systolic blood pressure of 150 mmHg as the level at which anti-hypertensive treatment should start in older adults. If a cup of coffee with breakfast or an iced tea with lunch is part of your regular routine, a recent study suggests that your moderate caffeine intake isnt likely to cause extra heartbeats. An analysis of medical records of more than 33,000 adults age 50 and older found that those with recent asthma activity were more likely than non-asthmatics to experience abdominal aortic anuerysm rupture and sudden death.

Time Is Critical When It Comes to a Stroke

Intra-arterial treatment (IAT) to help remove clots from the blood vessels of stroke patients can be a life-saving procedure. It can also minimize the damage a stroke can cause. IAT uses a catheter to deliver a clot-dissolving drug to the location of the clot in the brain artery or physically remove the clot particles and allow blood flow to resume. Sometimes both procedures are done.

The 4 Cardiovascular Symptoms You Should Never Ignore

Maintaining good cardiovascular health is about more than eating a healthy diet, exercising every day, quitting smoking and taking your medications as prescribed. Its also essential that you respond appropriately to changes in your health, especially when those changes could indicate a problem with your heart or the rest of your vascular system.

Mobile Stroke Unit Provides Patients Life-Saving Treatments

If youre having a stroke, the faster you can be evaluated and treated, the greater the odds of having a positive outcome. The use of a mobile stroke unit, in which paramedics are in contact with a neuroradiologist and stroke physician at a hospital, may be able to save valuable time in responding to stroke patients.

New Blood Clot Retriever Vital in Emergency Stroke Treatment

One of the top new medical breakthroughs is a neurovascular stent retriever that enters a patient's body (via catheter) and removes blood clots. This is revolutionary for stroke patients and treatment centers. Acute ischemic stroke patients have a much better likelihood of recovery . Until recently, the only approved method for removing a clot from an artery during a stroke was a medication called tissue plasminogen activator (tPA). An injection of tPA could help dissolve the clot and restore blood flow. But the drug alone doesn't always do the trick.