News reports of the death of aspirin are exaggerated.

Late last year a number of news reports seemed to say the aspirin doesn’t work to improve health or prevent adverse health events.  Like the one linked above, these stories presented the truth about aspirin based on several studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine.  But the headline that too many people heard or […]

Respect your elders’ risk factors.

Respecting one’s elders is age-old good advice.  When it comes to avoiding stroke, younger people also need to respect the traditional risk factors that cause stroke in the elderly.  Turns out, the traditional modifiable risk factors also account for most strokes in young people. What are the traditional risk factors?  They include hypertension (high blood […]

Exercise to improve cognition.

A small study published in the journal Neurology in November 2016 showed preliminary evidence that a regular exercise routine may help cognition in subjects diagnosed with mild dementia felt to be due to the second most common cause of dementia.  While dementia of the Alzheimer’s type is the most common, Vascular Cognitive Impairment (VC I) comes […]

I’ll gladly exercise now to avoid a stroke later.

It’s fairly obvious that physical fitness is good for many reasons.  Cardiorespiratory fitness that comes from regular exercise has been shown to reduce the risk of stroke.  But in most studies it’s hard to separate the effect of fitness from other risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease.  The person who […]

Blood pressure intervention helps a little with dementia.

A recent trial done by researchers in The Netherlands called Effectiveness of a 6-year multidomain vascular care intervention to prevent dementia (preDIVA): a cluster-randomised controlled trial, looked at a group of subjects age 70-78 who were randomized to a 6-year program of multidomain cardiovascular intervention via frequent contact with study nurses versus typical care.  The idea […]

Cardiovascular health may prevent cognitive decline.

The term “synergy” may be overused in the business world but in medicine, we’re still ok with it. I always like to point out ways to affect more than one area with a single effort.  One of my favorite examples is that many migraine preventives also help with sleep or with anxiety.  But that’s another […]

Take THAT JNC 8 – lower BP better for stroke prevention.

There are many organizations that meet regularly to pour over data and make broad recommendations to doctors about how to treat patients.  These include the American Heart Association, the American College of Chest Physicians, and other specialty organizations such as the American Academy of Neurology.  One of these organizations, the Joint National Committee (JNC) surprised […]

Facts and questions from a blood pressure study.

The question of what is the best blood pressure target is quite old and not very close to being settled.  If you have hypertension (high blood pressure) you may be aware that the guidelines that doctors follow have been a bit confusing lately. In 2014 the JNC-8 guideline indicated a BP target of below 150 […]

Resolution time: Diet and exercise to prevent stroke (Part 2)

Here’s part two in the resolutions series:  Exercise.  What’s the data for stroke prevention? In an article called Physical activity in primary stroke prevention: just do it!, authors review the data behind a recommendation to exercise to prevent stroke.  The way we usually talk about this issue is to say that a sedentary lifestyle is a […]

Resolution time: Diet and exercise to prevent stroke (Part 1)

I just uncovered 2 articles in my pile from the journal Stroke published in July of 2015 that seem just perfect for the beginning of a new year. They focus on the science behind benefit or healthy diet and exercise as part of stroke prevention strategy. The first article is called Diet and Stroke: Recent Evidence Supporting […]