Cognitive impairment after an ICU stay.

See yesterday’s post about muscle weakness in the intensive care unit (ICU).  Turns out it’s not just muscle that suffers in an ICU stay.  Brain function often also takes a hit. In the study Long-term cognitive impairment after critical illness. (New England Journal of Medicine October 2013) investigators found that up to 12 months after […]

Trying to understand muscle wasting in the ICU

In the study Acute skeletal muscle wasting in critical illness. (JAMA October 2013) investigators followed patients who were admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) for at least a week, and put on artificial respiration (breathing machine) for at least 2 days.  During the course of their stay, the thigh muscle was measured by ultrasound […]

Variability discovered in how hospitals diagnose brain death.

In the United States, a person is diagnosed as dead if they satisfy one of the following two criteria: (1) irreversible cessation of circulatory and respiratory functions, or (2) irreversible cessation of all functions of the entire brain, including the brain stem.  This is the wording from the Uniform Determination of Death Act, a federal […]

Diet and the risk of stroke.

It is known that stroke is more common in black Americans than in white Americans, and more common in the Southeastern United States (the “Stroke Belt”). There may be many reasons for these differences including genetics, socioeconomics, and behaviors.  One big question, though, is diet.  To what extent does diet explain the differences in stroke […]