Echo for Long-Term Risk After Stroke

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A simple risk prediction model may help identify ischemic stroke patients at a higher risk of future adverse outcomes. Age, chronic renal failure, and the amount of calcification around the aortic root were predictive of death at about 4 years after nonhemorrhagic stroke said Dr Avinash Murthy at Albany Medical Center in Albany, N.Y at the annual meeting of the American Society of Echocardiography (ASE).

The doctors assigned 2 points for each decade over 40 years, 11 points for renal failure, and 3 points for aortic root sclerosis. The high-risk group — more than 11 points — had a mean survival estimate of 39 months, compared with 49 months for the moderate-risk group (5-10 points) and 62 months for the low-risk group (0-5 points). Most stroke patients undergo an echocardiography exam at the index admission to look for patent foramen ovale, shunt, or embolus and data about aortic root sclerosis is already available.

Coffee Can Prevent Progression To Dementia

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Patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) may be able to avoid developing dementia by drinking several cups of coffee a day. The study by Gary W. Arendash, PhD, at St. Petersburg, Florida published in the June issue of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease showed that patients with MCI who have a plasma caffeine level of 1200 ng/mL avoided progression to dementia over the following 2 to 4 years. These patients exhibited a plasma cytokine profile that was exactly the same as that of AD transgenic mice that were given caffeinated coffee and didn’t progress to dementia. It’s therefore very likely that it’s caffeine from coffee, and not from other sources, that affords the cognitive protection.