Community education for stroke awareness: An efficacy study. (1/13678)

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: This study examined the effectiveness of a slide/audio community education program aimed at increasing knowledge of stroke risk factors, stroke warning signs, and action needed when stroke warning signs occur. The program targets audiences at higher risk for stroke, especially individuals who are black or >50 years of age. METHODS: Subjects were 657 adults living in the community or in senior independent-living settings. The study examined the effectiveness of the program when presented alone and when accompanied by discussion (facilitation) led by a trained individual. Knowledge of stroke risk factors and warning signs was assessed using parallel pretests and posttests developed and validated specifically for the study. RESULTS: ANCOVA indicated that neither pretesting nor facilitation had a significant effect on posttest measures of knowledge. Paired t tests of groups receiving both the pretest and posttest demonstrated significant increase in knowledge (mean increase, 10.87%; P<0.001). ANCOVA indicated that these gains in knowledge were similar across subjects of different sex, race, age, and educational level. No significant differences could be ascribed to facilitation. CONCLUSIONS: The data indicate that the slide/audio program is effective in increasing knowledge of stroke risk factors, warning signs, and necessary action in subjects of varying ages, races, and education. Pretesting and facilitation did not significantly affect the short-term acquisition of information. The slide/audio program appears to offer a short, easily used educational experience for diverse communities, whether as a stand-alone program or with facilitated discussion.  (+info)

Renal insufficiency and altered postoperative risk in carotid endarterectomy. (2/13678)

PURPOSE: Higher complication rates have been reported in patients with renal insufficiency (RI) undergoing peripheral vascular surgery. Little attention has been paid specifically to carotid endarterectomy (CEA) in patients with RI where the risk/benefit considerations are very sensitive to small increases in postoperative complications. METHODS: One thousand one consecutive CEAs performed since 1990 were reviewed from our vascular registry, and 73 CEAs on patients with RI were identified. For comparison, two groups were established: group I (n = 928), normal renal function (creatinine level, <1.5 mg/dL); and group II (n = 73), RI (creatinine level, >/=1.5 mg/dL). RESULTS: Differences in the nonfatal stroke rates and combined stroke and death rates were statistically significant (P <.02) between the groups: group I (1. 08% and 1.18%) and group II (5.56% and 6.94%) respectively. Both groups were similar in regard to operative indications. In addition with the comparison of group I to group II, there was a statistically significant increase in hematoma rate, 1.61% versus 12. 5% ( P <.001), total cardiac morbidity, 1.72% versus 6.94% (P =.003), and total complications, 6.24% versus 36.1% (P =.001). Multivariate analysis demonstrated pre-existing RI to be the only significant predictor for perioperative stroke and hematoma. CONCLUSION: Patients with preoperative RI are at a higher, but not prohibitive, risk for stroke and death after CEA than patients with normal renal function. They are also at risk for hematoma formation, cardiac morbidity, and overall complications. Care in selection of these patients for CEA must be emphasized.  (+info)

An application of upper-extremity constraint-induced movement therapy in a patient with subacute stroke. (3/13678)

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The purpose of this case report is to demonstrate the application of constraint-induced movement therapy with an individual with upper-extremity hemiparesis within 4 months after sustaining a cerebrovascular accident (stroke). Such patients often fail to develop full potential use of their affected upper extremity, perhaps due to a "learned nonuse phenomenon." CASE DESCRIPTION: The patient was a 61-year-old woman with right-sided hemiparesis resulting from an ischemic lacunar infarct in the posterior limb of the left internal capsule. The patient's less-involved hand was constrained in a mitten so that she could not use the hand during waking hours, except for bathing and toileting. On each weekday of the 14-day intervention period, the patient spent 6 hours being supervised while performing tasks using the paretic upper extremity. Pretreatment, posttreatment, and 3-month follow-up outcome measures included the Wolf Motor Function Test and the Motor Activity Log (MAL). OUTCOMES: For the Wolf Motor Function Test, both the mean and median times to complete 16 tasks improved from pretreatment to posttreatment and from posttreatment to follow-up. Results of the MAL indicated an improved self-report of both "how well" and "how much" the patient used her affected limb in 30 specified daily tasks. These improvements persisted to the follow-up. DISCUSSION: Two weeks of constraining the unaffected limb, coupled with practice of functional movements of the impaired limb, may be an effective method for restoring motor function within a few months after cerebral insult. Encouraging improvements such as these strongly suggest the need for a group design that would explore this type of intervention in more detail.  (+info)

Night time versus daytime transient ischaemic attack and ischaemic stroke: a prospective study of 110 patients. (4/13678)

OBJECTIVE: Ischaemic stroke occurs only in 20%-40% of patients at night. The aim of the study was to compare sleep and stroke characteristics of patients with and without night time onset of acute ischaemic cerebrovascular events. METHODS: A consecutive series of 110 patients with transient ischaemic attack (n=45) or acute ischaemic stroke (n=65) was studied prospectively by means of a standard protocol which included assessment of time of onset of symptoms, sleep, and stroke characteristics. An overnight polysomnography was performed after the onset of transient ischaemic attack/stroke in 71 patients. Stroke and sleep characteristics of patients with and without cerebrovascular events occurring at night (between midnight and 0600) were compared. RESULTS: A night time onset of transient ischaemic attack or stroke was reported by 23 (21%) of 110 patients. Patients with daytime and night time events were similar in demographics; risk factors; associated vascular diseases; clinical and polysomnographic sleep characteristics (including severity of sleep apnoea); and stroke severity, aetiology, and outcome. Only the diastolic blood pressure at admission was significantly lower in patients with night time events (74 v 82 mm Hg, p=0.01). CONCLUSIONS: Patients with night time and daytime transient ischaemic attack/stroke are similar in sleep and stroke characteristics. Diastolic hypotension may predispose to night time cerebrovascular events. Factors not assessed in this study probably account for the circadian variation in the frequency of transient ischaemic attack and acute ischaemic stroke.  (+info)

Lesion volume, lesion location, and outcome after middle cerebral artery territory stroke. (5/13678)

AIM: To investigate the relation between lesion volume, lesion location, and clinical outcome in children with infarction in the territory of the middle cerebral artery (MCA). PATIENTS AND METHODS: Children with MCA territory infarcts were selected retrospectively from a database of children with ischaemic stroke. Lesion volumes were expressed as a percentage of the supratentorial intracranial volume and were categorised as "small", "moderate", or "large". Lesion location was categorised as cortical or purely subcortical. Outcome was ascertained by parental questionnaire and was categorised as "good" or "poor". RESULTS: 38 patients were identified (median age 6 years); 21 patients had lesions that involved cortical tissue. Outcome was good in 12 cases and poor in 26 cases (including 2 children who died). Although there was no significant effect of lesion size or lesion location on outcome for the group as a whole, all children who had infarcted more than 10% of intracranial volume had a poor outcome. Of note, some children with small subcortical lesions had pronounced residual deficits. CONCLUSIONS: Although the outcome after a small infarct in the MCA territory is variable and unpredictable, infarction of more than 10% of intracranial volume is universally associated with a poor outcome. Characterisation of lesion volume and topography might be helpful in identification of such children for participation in future trials of treatments for acute stroke.  (+info)

Analysis of the relationship between the utilization of physical therapy services and outcomes for patients with acute stroke. (6/13678)

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Little research has been conducted on the outcomes of care for people who have had a stroke. In this study, the relationship between physical therapy utilization and outcomes of care for patients with acute stroke was examined. SUBJECTS: The sample consisted of 6,342 patients treated in US academic health center hospitals in 1996 who survived their inpatient stay and received physical therapy. METHODS: The primary data source was the University HealthSystem Consortium Clinical Data Base. Physical therapy use was assessed by examining physical therapy charges. Outcomes of care were assessed in terms of the total cost of care (ie, whether the cost of care was more costly or less costly than expected, taking into account patient characteristics) and in terms of discharge destination (ie, whether the patient was discharged home or elsewhere). Regression analyses were conducted to examine the relationship between physical therapy use and outcomes. RESULTS: Physical therapy use was directly related to a total cost of care that was less than expected and to an increased probability of discharge home. CONCLUSION AND DISCUSSION: The results of this study provide preliminary evidence to support the use of physical therapy in the acute care of patients with strokes and indicate the need for further study of this topic.  (+info)

Speed-dependent reductions of force output in people with poststroke hemiparesis. (7/13678)

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Movement is slow in people with poststroke hemiparesis. Moving at faster speeds is thought by some researchers to exacerbate abnormal or unwanted muscle activity. The purpose of this study was to quantify the effects of increased speed on motor performance during pedaling exercise in people with poststroke hemiparesis. SUBJECTS: Twelve elderly subjects with no known neurological impairment and 15 subjects with poststroke hemiparesis of greater than 6 months' duration were tested. METHODS: Subjects pedaled at 12 randomly ordered workload and cadence combinations (45-, 90-, 135-, and 180-J workloads at 25, 40, and 55 rpm). Pedal reaction forces were used to calculate work done by each lower extremity. Electromyographic activity was recorded from 7 lower-extremity muscles. RESULTS: The main finding was that net mechanical work done by the paretic lower extremity decreased as speed increased in all subjects. The occurrence of inappropriate muscle activity on the paretic side, however, was not exacerbated in that the vastus medialis muscle on the paretic side did not show a consistent further increase in its prolonged activity at higher speeds. The mechanics of faster pedaling resulted in greater net negative mechanical work because, at higher pedaling rates, the prolonged vastus medialis muscle activity is present during a greater portion of the cycle. CONCLUSION AND DISCUSSION: The lessened force output by the paretic limb is mainly the result of the inherent mechanical demands of higher-speed pedaling and not due to exacerbation of impaired neural control.  (+info)

Restoration of shoulder movement in quadriplegic and hemiplegic patients by functional electrical stimulation using percutaneous multiple electrodes. (8/13678)

The purpose of this study is to restore the motion of the paralyzed shoulder caused by upper motor neuron disorders using functional electrical stimulation (FES). Percutaneous wire electrodes were implanted into twelve muscles of the shoulder in six patients with stroke or cervical spinal cord injury. The motion of the paralyzed shoulder was controlled by a portable FES computer system, with the three standard stimulation patterns for restoring motion of 90 degrees flexion to 90 degrees horizontal abduction, 90 degrees flexion to 20 degrees horizontal adduction, and 90 degrees abduction to 90 degrees horizontal adduction. Shoulder movements were repeatedly controlled according to the created stimulation patterns in five of the patients. The two dimensional motion analyzer also confirmed shoulder control over a satisfactorily broad range of excursion. One hemiplegic patient, who was a signboard painter, had his paretic left upper extremity improved by FES, and he drew a large picture on a board with his normal right hand and, with his affected left arm against the wall, to support his trunk. This may be a world first case of producing shoulder motion through FES.  (+info)