Thursday September 20, 2018

New mobile application can reduce stroke risk

The application has been under development for quite some time -- it took seven years of careful research to achieve it

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  • Researchers have developed a new mobile application
  • This application can detect stroke
  • This timely detection can help in preventing stroke

Researchers have developed a new mobile application that can detect atrial fibrillation, a leading cause of stroke, and can timely prevent heart-related complications.

Heart-related problems can now be detected by the help of mobile apps.
Heart-related problems can now be detected by the help of mobile apps.

Atrial fibrillation is an irregular and often rapid heart rate that can increase the risk of stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications. Timely detection of atrial fibrillation is crucial for effective stroke prevention.

“This is the first time that ordinary consumer electronics have achieved such reliable results that they can be actually beneficial for the patient’s medical care,” said co-author Juhani Airaksinen, Professor of Cardiology from Turku University Hospital in Finland.

“The results are remarkable as intermittent atrial fibrillation is not always detected even at the doctor’s office,” Airaksinen added. Detecting atrial fibrillation has been a worldwide medical challenge for years, but affordable solutions available for all have been lacking, the researcher added.

Also Read: Even less physically fit people can help themselves to prevent risk of Heart related Diseases: Study

For the study, published in the journal Circulation, researchers studied 300 patients with heart problems, half of whom had atrial fibrillation. The researchers managed to identify the patients with atrial fibrillation from the other group with a smartphone.

The application developed at the Department of Future Technologies of the University of Turku can detect patients with atrial fibrillation to up to 96 percent accuracy, the researchers said.

Strokes can be prevented using this app. Pixabay

“The results are also significant in that the group included different kinds of patients, some of whom had heart failure, coronary disease, and ventricular extrasystole at the same time,” said Tero Koivisto from the Department of Future Technologies.

The application has been under development for quite some time — it took seven years of careful research to achieve it, the researcher said. IANS

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Scientists Develop Potential Approach to Treat Dementia, Stroke

"It also shows that these changes may be reversible, paving the way for potential treatments," Williams added

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The article provides information on the topic "Scientists Develop Potential Approach to Treat Dementia, Stroke". (IANS)

Stopping blood vessel cells from becoming dysfunctional may reverse the symptoms of small vessel disease (SVD) — major cause of dementia and stroke — and prevent brain damage in older adults, scientists have found.

The study, led by the University of Edinburgh, found that SVD occurs when cells that line the small blood vessels in the brain become dysfunctional causing them to secrete a molecule into the brain.

The molecule stops production of the protective layer that surrounds brain cells — called myelin — leading to brain damage.

“This important research helps us understand why small vessel disease happens, providing a direct link between small blood vessels and changes in the brain that are linked to dementia,” said Anna Williams from University of Edinburgh’s MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine in Scotland.

“It also shows that these changes may be reversible, paving the way for potential treatments,” Williams added.

1 in 6 people over the age of 80 have dementia. Pixabay
1 in 6 people over the age of 80 have dementia. Pixabay

In the study, published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, the team used rat model and found that treating them with drugs that can reverse changes in blood vessels in the brain associated with cerebral small vessel disease.

“The findings highlight a promising direction for research into treatments that could limit the damaging effects of blood vessel changes and help keep nerve cells functioning for longer,” said Sara Imarisio, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Research in Britain.

Also Read: Sleep Disorder Linked with Brain Changes Found in Dementia

However, further studies are needed to test whether the treatment also works when the disease is firmly established, researchers said.

Dementia is one of the biggest problems facing society, as people live longer and the population ages.

Estimates indicate there are almost 47 million people living with dementia worldwide and the numbers affected are expected to double every 20 years, rising to more than 115 million by 2050. (IANS)