Characteristics and Outcomes of Younger Adults with Embolic Stroke of Undetermined Source (ESUS): A Retrospective StudyRead the full article
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Less Experienced Telestroke Consultants Are More Likely to Go On-Camera, but Less Likely to Give tPA
Background. Stroke telemedicine (telestroke) increases tPA availability and administration. However, the effective use of telestroke requires training, which is not a standard component of vascular neurology training. As a result, many providers learn telestroke skills “on the job” after finishing their training. Aims. We sought to explore if providers with more telestroke experience would be more efficient in the utilization of telemedicine, compared to providers with less experience. Methods. We prospectively collected data on telestrokes between July 2014 and July 2017 at a Comprehensive Stroke Center. Telestrokes are initiated on the telephone and typically, but not always, followed by an on-camera consult. Decision to do a phone-only versus on-camera consult is at the provider’s discretion. Results. There were 1,029 telestrokes, of which 807 were on-camera (74%). Of the 8 telestroke providers, 4 had less experience, having just finished stroke fellowship, and 4 had more experience (mean = 7.8 years of telestroke experience at the beginning of the study). Providers with less experience were more likely to go on camera than providers with more experience (79% vs. 67% of consults, ), but were less likely to give tPA when on-camera (25% vs. 33%, ). The absolute rate of tPA administration, combining phone and camera administration, or the frequency of technical difficulties were not different. Conclusions. Telestroke consultants with less experience do not triage as many cases by phone and are less likely to administer tPA on-camera, suggesting their use of telemedicine is not optimized. This supports the introduction of telestroke didactics during vascular neurology training.
The Prevalence of Dyslipidemia and Hyperglycemia among Stroke Patients: Preliminary Findings
Background/Aim. Stroke or cerebrovascular accident is defined as sudden or sub acute onset of focal neurologic deficit, caused by the interruption of blood flow to parts of the brain. In this study, we aimed to investigate the prevalence of dyslipidemia and hyperglycemia among stroke patients in Palestine. Materials and Methods. A total of 70 patients with stroke were included in a cross-sectional study between November 2017 and February 2018. Stroke patients were diagnosed based on a CT scan reviewed by a neurologist. Fasting venous blood samples were collected to measure the lipid profile (cholesterol, low-density lipoproteins (LDL), triacylglycerol (TAG), high-density lipoproteins (HDL)), fasting blood glucose (FBG), and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels. An interview-based questionnaire, included background data, past medical history, family history, and other risk factors for stroke, was filled for each patient. Results. Based on our results, 28.57% of patients had high LDL, 17.1% had high cholesterol, 15.7% had high TAG and 61.3% had low HDL. About half of the patients (51.4%) had abnormal HbA1c and abnormal FBG (52.8%). The majority (67.1%) of patients were males, whereas, 11% of patients were obese (BMI of more than 30 kg/m2) and 51.4% were smokers. Regarding the family history of diseases, 81% of patients had a family history of hypertension, 50% had a family history of stroke, and 58% had a family history of diabetes mellitus. Conclusion. Male gender and smoking were most likely to increase the risk of stroke. Risk factors like low HDL, high LDL, high FBG, high HbA1c, and hypertension contribute substantially to the incidence of stroke. A family history of stroke, hypertension and diabetes were significant risk factors for stroke.
Heart Failure Is Not Associated with a Poor Outcome after Mechanical Thrombectomy in Large Vessel Occlusion of Cerebral Arteries
The impact of heart failure on outcome in stroke patients is not fully understood. There is evidence for an increased mortality and morbidity, but it remains uncertain whether thrombectomy in patients with large vessel occlusion (LVO) in the anterior circulation is less effective in patients with heart failure compared to patients without. Retrospectively, we analyzed echocardiographic data of all patients in our stroke database, who underwent mechanical thrombectomy (n=668) for the presence of heart failure. Furthermore, we collected baseline characteristics and neurological and neuroradiological parameters. In the analysis, 373 of the 668 patients of our stroke database underwent echocardiography. Of these 373 patients, 90 patients (24%) suffered from heart failure with reduced left ventricular ejection fraction measured by echocardiography according to the current guidelines. After adjustment for age, the Alberta stroke program early CT score (ASPECTS), and time from symptom onset to recanalization, the analysis revealed that thrombectomy in patients with heart failure and LVO is not associated with less favorable outcome measured by the modified Rankin Scale after 90 days (3 (0-6) vs. 3 (1-5); p=0.380). Moreover, we could not find a significant difference in mortality compared to patients without heart failure (11.0% vs. 7.4%; p=0.313).
Development and Preliminary Validation of a Stroke Physical Activity Questionnaire
Objective. The aim of the current study was to develop and then to determine preliminary validity of a physical activity questionnaire specifically designed for ambulatory, chronic stroke patients. Methods. This cross-sectional study recruited 92 chronic stroke patients. In Phase I, the SPAQ was developed and its content validity index (CVI) determined. In Phase II, we examined (1) the concurrent validity of SPAQ vs. the International Physical Activity Questionnaire-Short Form (IPAQ-SF); (2) the convergent validity of SPAQ vs. the Functional Ambulation Category (FAC), vs. the six-minute walk test (6-MWT), vs. the timed up and go test (TUGT), vs. the Motricity Index, vs. the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS), and vs. the Modified Rankin Scale (MRS); and (3) the discriminant validity of the SPAQ vs. the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA). The concurrent validity and convergent and divergent validity were analysed using Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient. The agreement between the SPAQ and IPAQ-SF was assessed using the Kappa statistic. Results. The SPAQ has 12 items in 3 main components which covers low (7 items), moderate (3 items), and vigorous (2 items) physical activity. The SPAQ had a CVI of 0.93. Spearman’s correlation coefficient () for SPAQ vs. IPAQ-SF was 0.53 (p < 0.001). The SPAQ yielded substantial agreement with the IPAQ-SF (Kappa = 0.65). For convergent validity, the SPAQ had a moderate correlation with the 6-MWT, MI, NIHSS, FAC, TUGT, and MRS (p < 0.05). For discriminant validity, the SPAQ was not correlated with the MoCA ( = 0.061, p = 0.68). Conclusion. The SPAQ can be used to practically assess physical activity in chronic stroke patients, and it has acceptable psychometric properties which are comparable to other standard physical activity questionnaires. Future work should determine the validity of the SPAQ using an objective device such as an accelerometer.
Differences between the Influence of Observing One’s Own Movements and Those of Others in Patients with Stroke
We aimed to investigate differences between the influence of observing one’s own actions and those of others in patients with stroke with hemiplegia. Thirty-four patients with stroke who had experienced a right or left hemispheric lesion (RHL: n = 17; LHL: n = 17) participated in this study. Participants viewed video clips (0.5× speed) of their own stepping movements (SO) as well as those of others (OO). After viewing the video clips, participants were asked to evaluate the vividness of the mental image of the observed stepping movement using a five-point scale, in accordance with that utilized in the Kinesthetic and Visual Imagery Questionnaire (KVIQ). We also examined changes in imagery and execution times following action observation. When all patients were considered, there were no significant differences between SO and OO conditions. However, in the RHL subgroup, KVIQ kinesthetic subscore and changes in imagery and execution times were greater in the OO condition than in the SO condition. In the LHL subgroup, changes in imagery times were greater in the SO condition than in the OO condition. These findings indicated that viewing the movements of others led to more vivid imagery and alteration in performance in patients with right-sided stroke, when compared to viewing one’s own movements. Therefore, the present study suggests that clinicians should consider the side of the damaged hemisphere when implementing action observation therapy for patients with stroke.
Leisure Time Physical Activity Reduces the Risk for Stroke in Adults: A Reanalysis of a Meta-Analysis Using the Inverse-Heterogeneity Model
Objective. Apply more robust and additional analyses to a previous meta-analysis that reported statistically significant associations between leisure time physical activity (LTPA) and stroke. Methods. A reanalysis of a previous meta-analysis that included nine prospective cohort studies representing 269,594 men and women 25-84 years of age and in which the association between LTPA and incident stroke was examined. Follow-up periods ranged from 7.7 to 32.0 years. Relative risks (RR) from each study were pooled using the inverse-heterogeneity model. Heterogeneity was examined using the Q statistic, inconsistency using I2, and small-study effects using Doi plots and the LFK index. Influence and cumulative meta-analysis were also conducted. Results. Using low LTPA as the reference, moderate LTPA was associated with a statistically significant reduction in the risk for stroke in men (RR = 0.79, 95% CI = 0.65 to 0.95) and a trend in women (RR = 0.88, 95% CI = 0.78 to 1.0). High LTPA was associated with a statistically significant reduction in the risk for stroke in both men (RR = 0.72, 95% CI = 0.60 to 0.86) and women (RR = 0.78, 95% CI = 0.66 to 0.92). No statistically significant heterogeneity was observed and inconsistency was low. However, potential small-study effects were observed. With each study deleted once, results remained statistically significant. Cumulative meta-analysis demonstrated stability in results since at least 2005. Conclusions. Leisure time physical activity is associated with a reduced risk of stroke in both men and women. However, the small-study effects observed suggest the possibility that results may be exaggerated.