Stroke

Healthy Brain Campaign: Quit Smoking

At the start of the OHSU Brain Institute’s Healthy Brain Campaign we encouraged you to partner with a Healthcare provider to educate yourself on the seven key health factors and behaviors that will keep your heart and brain healthy and enhance your quality of life. During April, our focus is on the first of the American Heart Association’s “Life’s Simple 7″ keys to better health — which is to quit smoking. Health Risks The health … Read More

The road to a healthy heart is the road to a healthy brain

What if we told you that you could live your life in simple ways that give you a very, very good chance of having a healthy heart and a sharp brain well into old age? No special drugs, no special surgeries, no amazing scientific discoveries and no wonder cures. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? And it’s simple. Science is beginning to understand that the route to a healthy brain and healthy heart might be pretty … Read More

Recovering from stroke — through music

In the early 2000s, as part of the OHSU Stroke Center, I saw disabled stroke patients make remarkable progress in their recoveries — simply by exerting a large amount of extra effort and determination in their rehab exercises. The patients were part of a program led by an innovative OHSU physical therapist named Andrea Serdar. The program was within what is now known as the OHSU Outpatient Neurological Rehabilitation Department within the OHSU Brain Institute. … Read More

Stroke basics: Understand the symptoms, and call 911

“Dial 911 for emergencies.” You think this is simple and obvious, right? It turns out that a recent study found that one-third of patients with stroke symptoms did not call 911 when they were having a stroke. Often, patients show up in the emergency room by having their families drive them or, even worse, by driving themselves.  Also, there are many instances that I know of personally where patients wait until the next day to … Read More

Carotid Dissections, Stroke and Telestroke

New York Times reporter Andrew Revkin recently wrote an article that did a great job of describing a stroke from a patient’s perspective, as well as discussing some new advances in stroke treatment technology. The first point his case illustrates is that stroke can occur at all ages, from babies to the elderly. It may be especially difficult for younger and fit patients to understand they are having a stroke. Since it’s an “an old … Read More

OHSU Brain Institute experts at the cutting edge of treating stroke

With stroke, time is brain. When people suffer strokes, they need certain medical treatments within a limited amount of time, or their brains can be so damaged that they will have permanent disabilities. That’s why the OHSU Telemedicine Network is so vital in stroke treatment for hundreds of thousands of rural Oregonians. The network allows experts with the Oregon Stroke Center at the OHSU Brain Institute to use a two-way audio-video robot to collaborate with … Read More

So what is a Comprehensive Stroke Center anyway?

This week the Oregon Stroke Center at the OHSU Brain Institute was very pleased to receive the following notification from our hospital accreditation organization: “Effective Immediately The Joint Commission has officially certified OHSU as a Comprehensive Stroke Program!” OHSU is the first hospital in the Pacific Northwest and one of only 27 hospitals in the U.S. to receive this certification. Well, this all does sound exciting — but what does it mean for a patient … Read More

Learning in Honolulu: understanding risks — and prevention — for strokes

Every February, healthcare providers and researchers from all over the world meet for the American Stroke Association’s annual International Stroke Conference. This year the conference was hosted in Honolulu, Hawaii and I was honored to attend and present three of my own papers on stroke. The conference was huge. There were so many interesting topics covered simultaneously that I ended up having to read about some of them afterwards. But there were a few things … Read More

Why do women suffer more strokes?

Before I became a physician, I used to think that heart attacks and strokes were problems for men, and that the only thing women had to worry about was breast cancer. Then, during my training, I learned that a significant number of women would come to the hospital with strokes, and overall they tend not to recover as well. Looking at the literature, of the 700,000 strokes that occur per year in the United States, … Read More

Cholesterol: good, bad… keep track of it all

What is cholesterol and why do we care? Understanding cholesterol can be tricky. It took me a few years to convince my parents that only foods that contain animal products contain cholesterol. However, fatty foods that are cholesterol free can still raise your body’s cholesterol. So is all cholesterol bad? No, too much cholesterol is bad. And everyone regulates cholesterol differently. Cholesterol is a waxy fat-like substance that our bodies need to survive.  Animals, including … Read More

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