The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Food & Health

February 20, 2014

Head, neck injuries may increase stroke risk


Stroke emergency mobile increases timely delivery of clot-bustingtreatment in Germany

Pre-hospital administration of clot busting treatment in a specialized stroke emergency mobile made it 10 times more likely than in conventional care that patients received clot-busting medication within 60 minutes of stroke onset, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2014.

The study compared weeks of ambulance calls made by a stroke emergency mobile unit, equipped with a computed tomography scanner and staffed with a neurologist trained in emergency medicine, paramedic and technician, to weeks of calls with a conventional ambulance.

Among the findings:

n Patients who received clot-busting treatment within 60 minutes were nearly two times more likely to be discharged home, compared to patients who were treated later.

n Treatment started within the first hour of stroke onset or in the stroke emergency mobile did not result in any higher risk of death in the first week and first three months after treatment.

Stroke linked to immediate,persistent declines in mental ability

Stroke is associated with notable declines in mental ability that tend to last for years, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2014.

Researchers studied the mental abilities of nearly 12,000 people ages 45 to 84. They followed the participants for six to 10 years, assessing their mental functioning every 18-24 months with two tests. One test measured memory; the other, their ability to organize and prioritize thoughts and information (also known as executive function).

There were 127 individuals who had an acute stroke and tests of mental ability before and after the event.

The researchers found:

n Stroke was associated with a significant decrease in memory at the time of the event.

n Executive function declined significantly faster after a stroke than it did before a stroke.

n In the years following a stroke, the changes in memory were similar to those over time before a stroke, but these findings require more research.

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