CT Scan may help predict Stroke Recurrence

MRI brain scan - credit: National Cancer Institute unknown - PD

(Best Syndication News) - A study from the University of Calgary Hotchkiss Brain Institute demonstrated that using CT scans could help predict if a transient ischemic attack (TIA) could be at risk for a more serious stroke. The information gained from CT scans may help improve how doctors treat patients in preventing future strokes with appropriate medication and care.

Doctors currently determine if a patient is at risk for another stroke by using MRI brain scans. However, not every medical facility may have MRI equipment. What is usually available is a CT scan. The researchers wanted to see if CT scans could be used in the same way that MRI equipment is used to measure future stroke risks.

Lead researcher, Dr. Shelagh Coutts, a member of the HBI, associate professor in the Department of Clinical Neurosciences along with colleagues were able to visualize blood vessel function from the heart to the brain by using dye during a CT scan. If the patients showed signs of blockage or narrowed vessels, they were at a higher risk for a recurring stroke. They concluded that their CT angiogram scan was just as accurate at predicting a future stroke as a MRI scan.

Majority of US Adults have Sodium Intake Higher than RDA

Sandwich - Credit National Cancer Institute photographer Daniel Sone - PD

(Best Syndication News) - The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevent (CDC) reported that 90 percent of US adults consume too much sodium or salt daily. The bulk of the sodium comes from eating restaurant foods and certain grocery food items.

The CDC’s Vital Signs report declared that the 10 kinds of foods add up to over 40 percent of the daily sodium intake. The biggest culprit is breads, luncheon meats, pizzas, poultry, soups, cheeseburgers, sandwiches, cheese, pasta dishes, and meat dishes, and snack foods. The meat dishes can include meat loaf. The snack food items include food such as potato chips, pretzels, and popcorn. The sodium intake can continue to increase as the person eats multiple servings of the food daily, such as with bread.

Eating Chocolate might reduce risk of having a Heart Attack or Stroke

Chocolate cupcake - credit: National Cancer Institute/Renee Comet (photographer) PD

(Best Syndication News) - A study found that eating chocolate might reduce the risk of developing heart disease by one-third. The study was published online today at Additionally, the researchers will be presenting the study findings at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Paris on August 29, 2011.

Even though the results of this study suggests a possible heart health benefit, more research is needed to determine what causes the reduced heart disease risk.

Previous studies have said that eating chocolate were beneficial for lowering high blood pressure, and improving insulin sensitivity. Chocolate has been touted as offering antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. This prompted Dr. Oscar Franco and colleagues from the University of Cambridge to investigate the possible reduction in cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks and strokes, with chocolate consumption.

Food Substitutions to help Lower Blood Sugar, Cholesterol, and Blood Pressure discussed on ‘The Dr. Oz Show’

Frozen Yogurt - credit: 	National Cancer Institute/Renee Comet(photographer) PD

(Best Syndication News) - Doctor Mehmet Oz had a segment on his television show yesterday that discussed food substitutes that can help to lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels. The food substitutes are simple and easily found at the grocery store.

Food Substitutes to Lower Cholesterol Levels

Doctor Oz explained that high cholesterol levels could sometimes be reduced by the foods we eat and suggested three food changes that could help to lower those cholesterol numbers. Instead of eating 1 tablespoon of butter, which has 30 mg of cholesterol, eat pureed bananas because it has 0 mg of cholesterol. The doctor suggested using pureed bananas as a substitute for butter when baking deserts.

Instead of eating ice cream, which has 90 mg of cholesterol per serving, eat 2 percent frozen Greek yogurt because it has only 10 mg of cholesterol. Instead of using mayonnaise (5 mg cholesterol) on a sandwich, try using avocado slices, which have 0 mg of cholesterol.

Stroke risk reduced by being Optimistic

Stroke risk reduced by being Optimistic

(Best Syndication News) - Having a positive and optimistic outlook on life could reduce your chances of having a stroke. This was according to a new study that was published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

The study involved 6,044 participants over the age of 50. Each participant had their optimism levels rated with a 16-point scale. The researchers found that for each point increase on the scale of optimism, there was a 9 percent reduction in acute stroke risk during a two-year period.

According to the American Stroke Association, stroke is the number three way for people die in the United States.

Eric Kim, study lead author and a clinical psychology doctoral student at the University of Michigan, said that people who have a positive outlook might also do things to encourage good health.

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