Vascular brain injury can result from conditions such as high blood pressure and stroke.

Researchers from the University of California, Davis Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, have found out that there is an inverse correlation between vascular brain injury and memory and the ability to problem-solve. This means that these types of injury have a greater influence on cognitive impairment of the elderly than the level of beta-amyloid deposits in the brain.

For this study, 61 people from Northern California, aged 65 to 90 years old, were recruited between 2007 and 2012. For more details, please refer to the full article: JAMA Neurology, February 11, 2013

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The American Academy of Neurology has weighed in heavily on the side of MR as opposed to noncontrast CT for the diagnosis of stroke patients in its newly published practice guidelines. However, the practice may not be feasible in the real world.

According to the president of AHA, it is clear that MR has more diagnostic accuracy than a CT scan for stroke assessment. The latest studies reviewed in the article demonstrate the superiority of MRI for detecting a stroke at an early stadium. However, considering the current situation in most hospitals, it is always faster to do a CT than an MR scan on an acute stroke patient. There are always extra arrangements to be made before the patient can get into the MR scanner and many places do not have more than one MR scanner, which is fully booked the whole day.
As a conclusion, if hospitals are going to implement these guidelines, they probably need to get themselves an MR scanner at the emergency department.

Stroke and hypothermia

July 7, 2010

Acute ischemic stroke presents a leading cause of death and disability in the industrialized world. It is characterized by large-vessel thromboembolic occlusion and other pathophysiological factors, which contribute to cellular brain tissue damage.
In the last few years, increasing interest has been focused on regulated hypothermia as a method of
cerebral protection, representing one of the most effective treatment options in reducing further deterioration of brain tissue after acute ischemic stroke, if hypothermia is induced soon after the onset of neurological symptoms and maintained for an adequately long time period.
It is well accepted (based on animal studies) that hypothermia is remarkably neuroprotective when applied during or after global or focal ischemia. Protracted hypothermia of a few ◦C (30-33 C) can provide sustained behavioral and histological neuroprotection, whereas brief or very mild hypothermia (32-35 degrees C) only delays neuronal damage.
However, there are still many questions ananswered, for instance, when and for how long the induced hypothermia should be maintained. Therefore, clinical studies are running to test its efficacy in the
treatment and prevention on stroke in humans.
For more information, consult B. Schaller, R. Graf / Pathophysiology 10 (2003) 7–35