Two simple tests could help to pinpoint cause of stroke

January 10, 2018

Detecting the cause of the deadliest form of stroke could be improved by a simple blood test added alongside a routine brain scan, research suggests.

Combining the test with a brain scan could provide key genetic information that may help identify those most at risk from a second stroke, doctors say.

Experts say the new approach could revolutionise the way doctors manage strokes caused by bleeding in the brain, known as intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH).

ICH accounts for up to 50 per cent of all strokes worldwide. Around half of those affected die within one year.

Researchers used the blood test and brain scan images to detect a condition known as cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA), which can cause ICH and is linked to a higher risk of further strokes and dementia.

CAA is caused by a build-up of a protein known as amyloid in the walls of blood vessels in the brain.

University of Edinburgh researchers used computed tomography (CT) scans in more than 100 patients who died following their first ICH. They collected blood samples to test a gene called APOE, which is linked to CAA.

By combining simple CT scan images with a genetic blood test, researchers could accurately spot if an ICH had been caused by CAA.

This new approach could help identify people who are at higher risk after their ICH, scientists say.

It could also improve ICH diagnosis in developing countries as CT scanning and blood testing is available worldwide.

Dr Mark Rodrigues, Wellcome Trust Clinical PhD Programme Fellow at the University of Edinburgh, said: "Identifying the cause of a brain haemorrhage is important to planning patient care. Our findings suggest that the combination of routine CT scanning with APOE gene testing can identify those whose ICH has been caused by CAA - a group who may be more at risk of another ICH or dementia."

Dr Shamim Quadir, Research Communications Manager at the Stroke Association said:

"An intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH) or bleed in the brain can be devastating. It's estimated that up to half the people who have this type of stroke die within a month, and that most survivors will be left with long term problems. ICH research is really important because the outlook for these patients has not improved significantly for over a decade. This important study suggests a new way to identify what contributed to someone having an intracerebral haemorrhage. It may help doctors better understand which patients are at most risk of further stroke and plan patient care."
-end-
The study is published in Lancet Neurology and was funded by the Medical Research Council, Stroke Association and Wellcome Trust.

University of Edinburgh

Related Stroke Articles from Brightsurf:

Stroke alarm clock may streamline and accelerate time-sensitive acute stroke care
An interactive, digital alarm clock may speed emergency stroke care, starting at hospital arrival and through each step of the time-sensitive treatment process.

Stroke patients with COVID-19 have increased inflammation, stroke severity and death
Stroke patients who also have COVID-19 showed increased systemic inflammation, a more serious stroke severity and a much higher rate of death, compared to stroke patients who did not have COVID-19, according a retrospective, observational, cross-sectional study of 60 ischemic stroke patients admitted to UAB Hospital between late March and early May 2020.

'Time is vision' after a stroke
University of Rochester researchers studied stroke patients who experienced vision loss and found that the patients retained some visual abilities immediately after the stroke but these abilities diminished gradually and eventually disappeared permanently after approximately six months.

More stroke awareness, better eating habits may help reduce stroke risk for young adult African-Americans
Young African-Americans are experiencing higher rates of stroke because of health conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity, yet their perception of their stroke risk is low.

How to help patients recover after a stroke
The existing approach to brain stimulation for rehabilitation after a stroke does not take into account the diversity of lesions and the individual characteristics of patients' brains.

Kids with headache after stroke might be at risk for another stroke
A new study has found a high incidence of headaches in pediatric stroke survivors and identified a possible association between post-stroke headache and stroke recurrence.

High stroke impact in low- and middle-income countries examined at 11th World Stroke Congress
Less wealthy countries struggle to meet greater need with far fewer resources.

Marijuana use might lead to higher risk of stroke, World Stroke Congress to be told
A five-year study of hospital statistics from the United States shows that the incidence of stroke has risen steadily among marijuana users even though the overall rate of stroke remained constant over the same period.

We need to talk about sexuality after stroke
Stroke survivors and their partners are not adequately supported to deal with changes to their relationships, self-identity, gender roles and intimacy following stroke, according to new research from the University of Sydney.

Standardized stroke protocol can ensure ELVO stroke patients are treated within 60 minutes
A new study shows that developing a standardized stroke protocol of having neurointerventional teams meet suspected emergent large vessel occlusion (ELVO) stroke patients upon their arrival at the hospital achieves a median door-to-recanalization time of less than 60 minutes.

Read More: Stroke News and Stroke Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.