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American Stroke Association, Feb. 23-26, 2010

American Stroke Association International Stroke Conference 2010

The American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2010 took place Feb. 23 to 26 in San Antonio, and attracted about 4,200 attendees from around the world. The meeting featured groundbreaking studies on the epidemiology and treatment of stroke.

"One of the key themes had to do with transient ischemic attacks, and the importance of reporting right away to your doctor or an emergency room, because there's a very high risk of stroke within the first couple of days after a transient ischemic attack," said program committee member, Philip Gorelick, M.D., of the University of Illinois in Chicago, and a past chair of the conference.

Key research included a series of studies on pediatric stroke, including one from researchers at the Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, showing that significant risk factors were present in 91 percent of 676 stroke patients aged 29 days through 18 years. The most common risk factors included arteriopathies (53 percent), cardiac disorders (31 percent), and chronic systemic conditions (30 percent).

Other studies showed that the odds of stroke are six times greater in children with congenital heart disease, that additional strokes are more common in children who have stroke caused by a blockage, and that high body mass index is linked to a rare form of stroke in children.

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Another important study, presented by researchers from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, showed that the risk of ischemic stroke in post-menopausal women is 40 percent higher in those who consumed the most dietary fat (86 g per day versus 26 g per day), and 30 percent higher in those who consumed the highest daily amount of trans fat (7 g per day versus 1 g per day) compared to those who consumed the lowest amounts.

"I think our findings support the American Heart Association recommendations for keeping trans fat intake at less than 1 percent of energy," senior author, Ka He, M.D., of the University of North Carolina's Gillings School of Global Public Health in Chapel Hill, said in a statement.

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In a series of studies on stroke treatments, one showed that intracranial stenting and intra-arterial thrombolytics may be superior to other treatments. In a study of 841 stroke patients, researchers from the Cleveland Clinic illustrated that placement of an intracranial stent and use of intra-arterial thrombolytics were independent predictors of successful recanalization (odds ratios, 1.96 and 1.56, respectively).

"Essentially, there is no standard currently as to which interventions are performed for acute stroke in this country," senior author, Rishi Gupta, M.D., said in a statement. "We decided to study treatment at 12 of the busiest stroke centers in the country to determine which of the therapies currently in use may be yielding the best results in terms of opening the blood vessel without creating hemorrhage."

Other studies in the series showed that a "drip-and-ship" method for stroke treatment appears safe, and support a wider window for stroke clot-busting treatment.

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Another study showed that a Nintendo-style of virtual reality -- Wii gaming technology -- can facilitate motor function after stroke. Researchers randomized 22 patients who had suffered mild/moderate strokes to receive either virtual reality rehabilitation using Wii technology or standard rehabilitation. The lengths of the sessions and the number of patients who completed all sessions were similar in the two groups, and there were no serious adverse events in either group.

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In one of a series of late-breaking studies, results showed that the drug cilostazol may be superior to aspirin in preventing strokes. Another late-breaking study compared dabigatran to warfarin in patients with atrial fibrillation and prior TIA or stroke. A randomized trial evaluated the use of robot-assisted rehabilitation for chronic stroke, and another compared carotid revascularization endarterectomy and stenting.

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ASA: Carotid Stenting May Be Effective in Preventing Stroke

FRIDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Carotid stenting and carotid endarterectomy have similar long-term outcomes for preventing stroke in patients with carotid stenosis, according to a study presented at the American Stroke Association's 2010 International Stroke Conference, held from Feb. 23 to 26 in San Antonio. However, two studies published online Feb. 26 in The Lancet and The Lancet Neurology found that carotid stenting is associated with worse outcomes than carotid endarterectomy in patients with carotid artery stenosis in the months after the procedure and is associated with ischemic brain lesions shortly after treatment.

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International Stroke Conference 2010

ASA: Coffee Drinking Linked to Reduced Risk of Stroke

FRIDAY, Feb. 26 (HealthDay News) -- Coffee consumption may be associated with a lower risk of stroke, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association's 2010 International Stroke Conference, held from Feb. 23 to 26 in San Antonio.

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ASA: Strokes May Be Affecting More Young People

THURSDAY, Feb. 25 (HealthDay News) -- Strokes may be striking more people at younger ages, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association's 2010 International Stroke Conference, held from Feb. 23 to 26 in San Antonio.

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ASA: Web Tool Can Help Identify Post-TIA Stroke Risk

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- In transient ischemic attack (TIA) patients with brain infarction, a prognostic tool can identify those at risk of a subsequent stroke. In addition, smokers tend to present with TIA at an earlier age than nonsmokers, and a post-TIA rehabilitation program may improve cardiac and physical function, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association's 2010 International Stroke Conference, held from Feb. 23 to 26 in San Antonio.

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ASA: Drug Found Effective in Unwitnessed Strokes

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with an unwitnessed ischemic stroke, treatment with recombinant tissue-plasminogen activator (tPA) should be considered for those who were "last seen normal" within several hours of the stroke, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association's 2010 International Stroke Conference, held from Feb. 23 to 26 in San Antonio.

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ASA: New Report Highlights Advances in Stroke Care

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- A recent report from the American Stroke Association, published online Feb. 24 in Stroke, outlines their efforts over the last 10 years to reduce death and disability associated with stroke, and suggests that current practice should focus more on prevention and recovery than previously recommended. The report was released to coincide with the ASA's 2010 International Stroke Conference, held from Feb. 23 to 26 in San Antonio.

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ASA: Guidelines Initiative Improving Stroke Care

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Stroke care and patient outcomes have improved significantly for hospitals participating in the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Get With The Guidelines-Stroke (GWTG-Stroke) program, according to an analysis presented at the American Stroke Association's 2010 International Stroke Conference, held from Feb. 23 to 26 in San Antonio, and published online Feb. 22 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

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