Stroke Victim Mother

I normally don’t ask for anything from tumblr, but My mom had a stroke and broke her leg in the shower. and the rehab center kicked her out and changed us for the stay when they realized our insurance would only cover 20 days. Worst part is they didn’t let us know until after it was too late.

So we are just asking for a bit of help to pay off the rehab center. We aren’t asking for a lot, just to cover the few extra days she had to spend there when we were getting everything set up for her being home.

http://www.gofundme.com/s8qy5w

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In 2012, when she was 13, Georgia Schafer suffered from a Spinal Infarction, a stroke in the spinal chord.

She has been involved in ATA, the American Taekwondo Association, for six years, and this year has qualified for World Championships in Little Rock, Arkansas in the special abilities category. This being said, she has the opportunity as a fifteen year old girl to become a world champion, and therefore the first with that ranking out of our academy.

Unfortunately, due to limited funding, Georgia and her family cannot afford to travel from Western Pennsylvania, where we live, to Little Rock where the tournament is held.

We are hoping with some help, we will be able to raise the money needed. We also plan to fundraise at various churches and business in our area, but any donation you make would go a long way.

Even if you cannot donate, reblogging to spread awareness would be greatly appreciated!

You can donate here! http://gofundme.com/utm8zy8
'Dangerous' Black Man Suffers Stroke While Driving, Cops Taze And Pepper Spray Him (VIDEO)

‘Dangerous’ Black Man Suffers Stroke While Driving, Cops Taze And Pepper Spray Him (VIDEO)

David Washington of Fredericksburg, VA struck another vehicle with his after suffering a stroke. When police arrived on scene, Washington responded slowly due to his medical condition. Rather than ask questions or assume a man moving that lethargically may need medical attention, the officers immediately tried and convicted Washington of Driving While Black. “Get out of the car,” an officer…

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We’ve all heard that an aspirin a day can keep heart disease at bay. But lots of Americans seem to be taking it as a preventive measure, when many probably shouldn’t.

In a recent national survey, more than half the adults who were middle age or older reported taking an aspirin regularly to prevent a heart attack or stroke. The Food and Drug Administration only recommends the drug for people who’ve already experienced such an event, or who are at extremely high risk.

However, many of the people taking aspirin daily have never had a heart attack or stroke.

Maybe You Should Rethink That Daily Aspirin

Photo Credit: iStockphoto

Novel therapeutic procedure helps stroke patient recover three-dimensional vision

Impaired vision is one of the most common consequences of a stroke. In rare cases, patients may even lose their ability to perceive depth. Such patients see the world around them as flat, like a two-dimensional picture. This makes it impossible for them to judge distances accurately – a skill they need, for instance, when reaching for a cup or when a car is approaching them on the street. A patient with this particular type of visual dysfunction has recently been studied in detail by the research team at Saarland University led by Professor Georg Kerkhoff and Anna-Katharina Schaadt in collaboration with colleagues at the Charité university hospital in Berlin. The team has developed the first effective treatment regime and have identified the area of the brain that, when damaged, may cause loss of binocular depth perception. The results of the study have been published in the respected academic journal “Neuropsychologia”.

Strokes can result in a wide variety of visual impairments. ‘A patient may, for example, be blind on one side so that he fails to perceive obstacles or people on that side or have problems when reading,’ explains Georg Kerkhoff, Professor of Clinical Neuropsychology at Saarland University and head of the Neuropsychological Outpatient Service. In some cases, however, the consequences are even more serious. Recently, the team around Kerkhoff and Schaadt collaborated with Professor of Neurology Dr. Stephan Brandt and his colleague Dr. Antje Kraft, both at the Berlin Charité, in treating and supervising a patient who had lost his stereoscopic visual perception as a result of a stroke. Although the patient was able to perceive all the details of his surroundings, he was not able to assess distances with any accuracy. ‘Everything for him was flat, like on a painting,’ explains Anna-Katharina Schaadt, a doctoral research student who is supervised by Kerkhoff and is the study’s lead author. ‘He moved as if in slow-motion and was very uncertain about how far away a coffee cup was on a table or how quickly a car was approaching.’ Like a blind person, he used a long cane to find his way around.

Kerkhoff and Schaadt’s team at the Neuropsychological Outpatient Service on the Saarbrücken campus began by looking for the cause of the patient’s visual impairment.

‘We discovered that the patient was unable to converge the visual impressions from each eye into a single overall image,’ says Schaadt. In healthy individuals, this process is known technically as ‘binocular fusion’ and is important for three-dimensional vision.

Once the diagnosis had been made, the team of neuropsychologists provided a three-week block of therapy during which the patient undertook daily training to improve his visual perception of depth. Three different training methods were employed. Special visual training equipment (prisms, vergence trainer and cheiroscope) were used to present the patient with two images with a slight lateral offset between them. By using what are known as convergent eye movements, the patient attempts to fuse the two images into a single image. This involves directing the eyes inward towards the nose while always keeping the images in the field of view. With time, the two separate images fuse to form a single image that exhibits stereoscopic depth, i.e. the patient has re-established binocular single vision. ‘It was as if a switch had been thrown; the patient was suddenly able to perceive spatial depth again, judge distances correctly and reach out and hold objects with confidence’, describes Schaadt. The patient has now returned to work as a lawyer. At a follow-up examination a year later, the patient still exhibited good stereoscopic depth perception, and can therefore be considered to be permanently cured according to Professor Kerkhoff.

The procedure could be used in future by therapists to help treat other stroke patients suffering from this extreme form of visual impairment. The results of the study are also of interest to researchers working in the field, as Professor Brandt explains: ‘The results illustrate the very specific functional organization of our brains. Damage to the areas known as V6 and V6A in the parietal lobe is associated with impaired three-dimensional visual perception. This area of the brain has been studied in primates. However, further research is required to understand its function in humans.’

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Signs of a Stroke - Ale Pixel

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The Blind Woman Who Sees Rain, But Not Her Daughter’s Smile

Imagine a world that is completely black. You can’t see a thing — unless something happens to move. You can see the rain falling from the sky, the steam coming from your coffee cup, a car passing by on the street.This was the world that Milena Channing claimed to see, back in 2000, shortly after she was blinded by a stroke at 29 years old. But when she told her doctors about these strange apparitions, they looked at her brain scans (the stroke had destroyed basically her entire primary visual cortex, the receiving station of visual information to the brain), and told her she must be hallucinating.

“You’re blind and that’s it,” Channing remembers them saying to her.

Frustrated and convinced these visions were real, Channing made her way from doctor to doctor until she finally found one who believed her: Dr. Gordon Dutton, an ophthalmologist in Glasgow. He told her he’d once read about such a case — a soldier in World War I who, after a bullet injury to the head, could only see things in motion.

Riddoch’s phenomenon, Dutton told her it was called, named for the Scottish neurologist George Riddoch who named it. And then he prescribed her … a rocking chair!

Here’s why: If this is about motion, only being able to see things in motion, she’d be able to see the stationary world, at least a little, if she herself started moving.

It helped. In the weeks and months after her visit (after employing other techniques like shaking her head), Channing began to see the world more vividly. And when she finally visited a team of neuroscientists in Canada (five years after her stroke), they filled in the picture. It turns out that one area of her brain ’s cortex — an area reserved specifically for processing motion (visual area MT, for middle temporal area) — had been preserved. So even though information wasn’t going through the primary visual cortex, somehow it was still getting out to the part of the brain that can register objects in motion.

Cue the cars. And the rain. And the coffee steam. Channing was truly seeing them.

But here’s the catch. Though this compartmentalized nature of vision may have been Channing’s blessing, it’s also proving to be a quiet curse. Just as there seems to be an area of the brain that processes motion, there is one for faces; and as much as Channing’s vision continues to improve, she still can’t recognize — even perceive — a face.

Channing says that every now and then, that hard boundary of what she can and can’t see frustrates her. “Who does she look like?” Channing wonders, as she gazes straight at her daughter’s face.

For an artist’s rendition of Milena Channing’s world, watch the video above, which also explains a bit more about the modular nature of vision.

from NPR

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Make Health Last: What Will Your Last 10 Years Look Like? by the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Long-Term Exposure to Air Pollution May Pose Risk to Brain Structure, Cognitive Functions

Air pollution, even at moderate levels, has long been recognized as a factor in raising the risk of stroke. A new study led by scientists from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine suggests that long-term exposure can cause damage to brain structures and impair cognitive function in middle-aged and older adults.

Writing in the May 2015 issue of Stroke, researchers who studied more than 900 participants of the Framingham Heart Study found evidence of smaller brain structure and of covert brain infarcts, a type of “silent” ischemic stroke resulting from a blockage in the blood vessels supplying the brain.

The study evaluated how far participants lived from major roadways and used satellite imagery to assess prolonged exposure to ambient fine particulate matter, particles with a diameter of 2.5 millionth of a meter, referred to as PM2.5.

These particles come from a variety of sources, including power plants, factories, trucks and automobiles and the burning of wood. They can travel deeply into the lungs and have been associated in other studies with increased numbers of hospital admissions for cardiovascular events such as heart attacks and strokes.

“This is one of the first studies to look at the relationship between ambient air pollution and brain structure,” says Elissa Wilker, ScD, a researcher in the Cardiovascular Epidemiology Research Unit at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. “Our findings suggest that air pollution is associated with insidious effects on structural brain aging, even in dementia- and stroke-free individuals.”

Study participants were at least 60 years old and were free of dementia and stroke. The evaluation included total cerebral brain volume, a marker of age-associated brain atrophy; hippocampal volume, which reflect changes in the area of the brain that controls memory; white matter hyperintensity volume, which can be used as a measure of pathology and aging; and covert brain infarcts.

The study found that an increase of only 2µg per cubic meter in PM2.5, a range commonly observed across metropolitan regions in New England and New York, was associated with being more likely to have covert brain infarcts and smaller cerebral brain volume, equivalent to approximately one year of brain aging.

“These results are an important step in helping us learn what is going on in the brain,” Wilker says. “The mechanisms through which air pollution may affect brain aging remain unclear, but systemic inflammation resulting from the deposit of fine particles in the lungs is likely important.”

“This study shows that for a 2 microgram per cubic meter of air (μg/m3) increase in PM2.5, a range commonly observed across major US cities, on average participants who lived in more polluted areas had the brain volume of someone a year older than participants who lived in less polluted areas. They also had a 46 percent higher risk of silent strokes on MRI,” said Sudha Seshadri, MD, a Professor of Neurology at Boston University School of Medicine and Senior Investigator, the Framingham Study.

“This is concerning since we know that silent strokes increase the risk of overt strokes and of developing dementia, walking problems and depression. We now plan to look at more the impact of air pollution over a longer period, its effect on more sensitive MRI measures, on brain shrinkage over time, and other risks including of stroke and dementia.”

A Game-Changer for Stroke Treatment

Stroke is the leading cause of severe long-term disability in the United States, and less than 40 percent of patients who experience the most severe form of stroke regain functional independence if they receive the standard drug intervention alone. Now a study by an international group of stroke physician-researchers has found that removal of the clot causing a severe stroke, in combination with the standard medication, improves the restoration of blood flow to the brain and may result in better long term outcomes.

The findings of the Swift Prime trial (Solitaire With the Intention For Thrombectomy as PRIMary Endovascular treatment) were reported April 17 in the online edition of the New England Journal of Medicine and are scheduled to be published in the journal’s June 11 print edition.

“These findings are a game-changer for how we should treat certain types of stroke,” says Demetrius Lopes, MD, surgical director of the comprehensive stroke center at Rush and a co-author of the study. “These outcomes are the difference between patients being able to care for themselves after stroke and being dependent.”

Rush was one of the 39 centers in the U.S. and Europe that participated in the Swift Prime trial.

Out, damned clot!

More than 795,000 people have a stroke each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 87 percent of these incidents are ischemic strokes, which result from clots in vessels supplying blood to the brain.

The standard treatment for ischemic stroke within the first three to four and a half hours of symptoms is intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (IV tPA), a medication which dissolves the clot. However in the approximately 20 percent of cases in which one of the major arteries is blocked, resulting in a severe stroke, IV tPA alone may not be sufficient to dissolve the clot. If a patient experiencing a severe stroke is brought to a qualified hospital in time, doctors also may be able to perform a minimally invasive procedure called thrombectomy to remove the clot.

During thrombectomy, a neurovascular surgeon threads a catheter through an incision in the patient’s groin, snaking it through the blood vessels and into the brain. The doctor then uses a device attached to the catheter to grab and dislodge the clot and pull it all the way out through the incision, a bit like an angler reeling in a fish.

One more out of every four

The Swift Prime study randomly divided patients with severe ischemic strokes into two groups, one receiving IV tPA alone, and the other receiving combination therapy of IV tPA and thrombectomy within six hours of the onset of stroke symptoms. (IV tPA currently is the only treatment for ischemic stroke approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, but the use of thrombectomy is allowed in clinical trials.) In all, 196 patients — 98 in each group — at 39 centers in the U.S. and Canada participated in the study between December 2012 and November 2014.

The researchers assessed each patient’s level of disability after 90 days using a standardized measurement. The study found that the patients who received IV tPA plus thrombectomy exhibited reduced disability across the entire range of the measurement, with a functional independence rate of 60 percent compared to 35.5 percent for those patients who received only IV tPA.

“For every 2.6 patients treated, one additional patient had an improved disability outcome; for every four patients treated, one additional patient was independent at 90 day follow-up,” the New England Journal of Medicine article declares.

The study also found that patients who received thrombectomy had better cerebral blood flow rates: At 27 hours after treatment, 82.8 percent of those patients had blood flow that was 90 percent of normal or better, versus 40.4 percent of patients who only received IV tPA. The study’s findings depart from three previous trials that did not find thrombectomy provided greater benefits than IV tPA alone. “The Swift Prime trial used better technology, better imaging and quicker intervention, and we obtained a different result,” Lopes says.

In fact, Swift Prime was one of four recent worldwide studies that evaluated newer thombectomy devices and techniques. The result of the first study, reported in the New England Journal in December, found such strong evidence of the benefit of thrombectomy that the other trials were halted.

“Ethically, we can’t deny patients a treatment when we have such strong evidence it’s better for them,” Lopes says. At Rush and other study locations, thrombectomy now is a standard treatment within the first few hours for patients with severe strokes.

‘Time equals brain’

However, time remains crucial in stroke treatment. For every minute that a stroke is untreated, a patient loses 1.9 million brain cells and 14 billion connections between brain cells – a phenomenon underlying the stroke awareness adage “time equals brain.”

“The majority of the positive results of these trials were found in patients treated within four hours, six hours tops,” observes James Connors, MD, medical director of the Rush comprehensive stroke center.

Of all the participating sites in the Swift Prime trial, Rush was found to provide the fastest times from patient arrival to insertion of the catheter and from initiation of the procedure to restoration of blood flow, both of which are critically important to improving patient’s outcomes.

The Rush stroke team also was recognized for having the best workflow among a larger group of 203 sites in the U.S., Europe, Canada and Australia that participated in Swift Prime and two other affiliated stroke studies. Workflow refers to the coordination of the stroke team – including emergency medicine personnel, neurologists, neurosurgeons and neurointensive care specialists – to provide quick treatment.

Time for a change

Lopes and Conners believe the results of these studies demonstrate the need for a different approach to stroke care. Conners notes that nationwide, the average usage of IV tPA in U.S. stroke cases is only about five percent. “It’s far below where we need to be,” he says.

He believes that educating people to recognize signs of stroke and call 911, and taking steps to make sure they’re taken to the right facility, would improve usage to 50 percent. “We’re constantly working with the city’s Emergency Medical Services division and the emergency department at Rush to get the stroke recognized and treated as soon as possible,” Conners says.

Lopes points out that Rush currently is one of only a few hospitals in Chicago that can perform thrombectomy. “Many of the stroke patients who could benefit from it can’t be brought here in time,” he says. “We need to make the treatment standard.”

In addition, Lopes feels that paramedics need additional training and equipment that would enable them to screen stroke patients in the field and determine which ones would benefit from thrombectomy.

“Rush is doing great from getting our patients from the door of the hospital to fixing the problem,” he says. “We can do even better as a city if we can get patients who need thrombectomy even faster to the hospitals that can provide that care.”

An ischemic stroke happens when a blood vessel (artery) supplying blood to an area of the brain becomes blocked by a blood clot. About 80 out of 100 strokes are ischemic strokes.
A hemorrhagic stroke happens when an artery in the brain leaks or bursts (ruptures). (Source)

-> Learn more: American Heart & Stroke Association

For teaching: neuroscience