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.

Hypertension Patients: Systolic Blood Pressure Readings Aren’t Everything

Treating your hypertension is important. The SPRINT study's urge for aggressive lowering of your systolic number might not be.

Heart Beat: December 2015

Use of cardiac rehabilitation declines significantly in treating patients with heart failure and other cardiovascular issues. Researchers find links between psoriasis and blood vessel inflammation. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, may lead to brain damage, including deterioration of nerve tissue and strokes.

Ask The Doctors: December 2015

Angina is chest discomfort consisting of pain, pressure, or a squeezing sensation, classically felt under the breastbone or sternum, sometimes accompanied by radiation of discomfort to the arm, neck, jaw, or back.

Heart Beat: September 2015

One of the concerns about some of the newer drugs designed to be alternatives to warfarin (Coumadin) is that they lack an antidote to excessive bleeding. Dabigatran (Pradaxa) has been hailed as a safe and effective alternative to warfarin, which can be difficult to dose correctly in many patients. And now a new drug called idarucizumab may provide the bleeding antidote that could make dabigatran an even safer drug for patients. A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that idarucizumab reversed bleeding events caused by dabigratran within minutes. More testing and approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration still awaits. But the results of this trial are encouraging. Dabigatran works consistently without the kind of frequent dosing adjustments often required of patients on warfarin. These anticoagulant medications are taken to help prevent blood clot formation. But because they act as blood thinners, they raise the risk of bleeding episodes. Warfarin has an antidote, which gives physicians and patients some peace of mind. Though unusual, serious bleeding events caused by anticoagulants can be life threatening. Researchers are hoping that if the dabigatran antidote continues to meet expectations in studies, it will make doctors less reluctant to prescribe dabigatran in the future.