Binge Drinking May Increase Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke in the Following Week

A new study suggests having six to nine drinks in one day nearly doubles the risk of heart attack and stroke over the following week.

Just having one drink was found to increase the risk of cardiovascular problems over the next 24 hours, according to Reuters. However, having two to four alcoholic drinks may reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke over the following week, the study found.

“There appears to be a transiently higher risk of heart attack and strokes in the hours after drinking an alcoholic beverage but within a day after drinking, only heavy alcohol intake seems to pose a higher cardiovascular risk,” lead researcher Elizabeth Mostofsky, Sc.D. of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health said in a news release.

Full story of binge drinking at stroke risk at drugfree.org

Surge in Synthetic Marijuana Emergency Room Visits Reported in Denver

Emergency rooms in Denver, Colorado reported a surge in visits related to synthetic marijuana in the late summer and early fall, according to the Los Angeles Times. Experts say similar patterns may emerge in other parts of the country.

Between August 24 and September 19, area emergency rooms saw 263 patients, mostly young men, with symptoms related to synthetic marijuana. Most patients were treated in the emergency room, but seven were admitted to intensive care units.

In a letter in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Andrew A. Monte of the University of Colorado School of Medicine writes synthetic marijuana appears to be growing more potent. “Although the effects of exposures to first-generation synthetic cannabinoids are largely benign, newer products have been associated with seizures, ischemic stroke and cardiac toxicity, possibly due to potency,” he wrote.

Full story of synthetic marijuana emergencies at drugfree.org

Researchers Develop At-Home 3D Video Game for Stroke Patients

Researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center have developed a therapeutic at-home gaming program for stroke patients who experience motor weakness affecting 80 percent of survivors.

Hemiparesis affects 325,000 individuals each year, according to the National Stroke Association. It is defined as weakness or the inability to move one side of the body, and can be debilitating as it impacts everyday functions such as eating, dressing or grabbing objects.

Constraint-induced movement therapy (CI therapy) is an intense treatment recommended for stroke survivors, and improves motor function, as well as the use of impaired upper extremities. However, less than 1 percent of those affected by hemiparesis receives the beneficial therapy.

“Lack of access, transportation and cost are contributing barriers to receiving CI therapy. To address this disparity, our team developed a 3D gaming system to deliver CI therapy to patients in their homes,” said Lynne Gauthier, assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation in Ohio State’s College of Medicine.

Full story of 3D video game for stroke patients at Science Daily

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education

High Blood Pressure During Pregnancy Could Elevate Risk of Future Stroke

High blood pressure during pregnancy could dramatically raise a woman’s lifetime risk of stroke, according to a study presented today at the Canadian Stroke Congress.

“We’ve found that women who had high blood pressure during pregnancy could be at higher risk of stroke, particularly if they had pre-eclampsia, which is a more severe form of high blood pressure,” says Dr. Aravind Ganesh, a neurology resident at the University of Calgary. “The elevated risk of stroke could be as high as 40 per cent.”

Dr. Ganesh, along with Neha Sarna (medical student), Dr. Rahul Mehta (internal medicine resident) and senior author Dr. Eric Smith (stroke neurologist), conducted a systematic review — basically, a study of studies.

Nine studies specifically looked at hypertension (high blood pressure) during pregnancy and its relationship to future risk of stroke.

The studies followed women for anywhere from one to 32 years after a pregnancy, and found consistent evidence that those with a history of hypertension in pregnancy are more likely to experience stroke in later life.

Full story of high blood pressure during pregnancy at Science Daily

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education

Your Eyes May Hold Clues to Stroke Risk

Photographing the retina may help detect which high blood pressure patients are more likely to have a stroke. Retinal imaging may be an inexpensive and non-invasive way to assess risk.

Your eyes may be a window to your stroke risk.

In a study reported in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension, researchers said retinal imaging may someday help assess if you’re more likely to develop a stroke — the nation’s No. 4 killer and a leading cause of disability.

“The retina provides information on the status of blood vessels in the brain,” said Mohammad Kamran Ikram, M.D., Ph.D., lead author of the study and assistant professor in the Singapore Eye Research Institute, the Department of Ophthalmology and Memory Aging & Cognition Centre, at the National University of Singapore. “Retinal imaging is a non-invasive and cheap way of examining the blood vessels of the retina.”

Worldwide, high blood pressure is the single most important risk factor for stroke. However, it’s still not possible to predict which high blood pressure patients are most likely to develop a stroke.

Full story of the eyes and clues to a stroke at Science Daily

Beedie Savage – President of Quantum Units Education