Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Reduced reflexes: future stroke sign

A couple of clues to stroke risk recently discovered and reported by NPR recently: Reduced Reflexes May Indicate Future Stroke.

Research published this week in the Archives of Internal Medicine finds that it may be possible to identify otherwise healthy older adults at risk for stroke and death by screening for subtle, yet clinically detectable neurological abnormalities, such as reduced reflexes and an unstable posture.

Meanwhile, a report published this week in the journal Stroke found that about 10 percent of a group of over 2,000 apparently healthy study participants appear to have experienced a "silent stroke," or silent cerebral infarction. A "silent stroke" has no outward symptoms but can be seen via brain imaging techniques such as MRI. The study authors say the condition can be a risk factor for future strokes, or be an indication of progressive brain damage leading to long-term dementia.

I do question the last, to a degree. While I'm certain there are some truly "silent" strokes, I wonder how many are simply unrecognized when they occurred at some unknown time.

Makes the previous post highlighting an awareness video even more important.

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