Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mystery Blood Vessel Disorder Implicated In 'Mini' Strokes

Date:
March 11, 2005
Source:
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Summary:
Physicians have long been puzzled by a condition called intracranial arterial dolichoectasia, in which the larger arteries of the brain become elongated and misshapen. There is recent evidence that people with dolichoectasia are more likely to have aortic aneurysms, a potentially fatal weakening of the main artery that carries blood out from the heart.

Physicians have long been puzzled by a condition called intracranial arterial dolichoectasia, in which the larger arteries of the brain become elongated and misshapen. Typically, it has been considered a complication of atherosclerosis ("hardening of the arteries"), and not directly life-threatening. However, there is recent evidence that people with dolichoectasia are more likely to have aortic aneurysms, a potentially fatal weakening of the main artery that carries blood out from the heart.

In an article published online February 28, 2005 in the Annals of Neurology (http://www.interscience.wiley.com/journal/ana) the same French researchers who linked dolichoectasia with aortic aneurysm reveal new evidence that links the disorder with small vessel disease, a significant cause of lacunar or "mini" strokes that can damage small areas of the brain.

Depending on which area of the brain is affected, the strokes can impair functions such as movement, physical control of speech, or coordination. Multiple lacunar strokes can also cause cognitive and memory deficits that resemble Alzheimer's disease.

According to the authors, physicians who encounter patients with small vessel disease should look for evidence of dolichoectasia. "If dolichoectasia is present, you should look for an associated abdominal aortic aneurysm and carefully search for associated cardiac symptoms," said author Pierre Amarenco, M.D., of Bichat University Hospital in Paris.

Beyond the immediate clinical implications, the study may offer more important clues for further research. It may be that dolichoectasia causes or contributes to small vessel disease, and/or that the two have common causes.

Nearly a quarter of all strokes arise from blood flow problems in the smallest blood vessels of the brain. Patients with the disease are usually found to have high blood pressure, but the causes of the disease are unknown.

Using MRI, Amarenco and his colleagues studied 510 patients who had suffered strokes and found that the subset of patients with dolichoectasia were more likely to have evidence of small vessel disease. Indeed, there was a direct relationship between the diameter of the basilar artery, the cranial artery most often affected in dolichoectasia, and the severity of small vessel disease.

"This study is the first to show an association between intracranial arterial dolichoectasia and the whole spectrum of small vessel disease abnormalities, thus defining a new cerebrovascular syndrome," said Amarenco.

The researchers will continue to follow the patients in this study (the GENIC study) to try to determine which vascular or genetic factors contribute to the syndrome. They will also attempt to replicate their MRI data in an autopsy study of patients who died with dolichoectasia.

###

Article: "Intracranial Arterial Dolichoectasia and Small-Vessel Disease in Stroke Patients," by Fernando Pico, Julien Labreuche, Pierre-Jean Touboul, Didier Leys, and Pierre Amarenco for the GENIC Investigators, Annals of Neurology; Published Online: February 28, 2005 (DOI: 10.1002/ana.20423).

The Annals of Neurology, the preeminent neurological journal worldwide, is published by the American Neurological Association, the world's oldest and most prestigious neurological association. The 1,500 members of the ANA--selected from among the most respected academic neurologists and neuroscientists in North America and other countries--are devoted to furthering the understanding and treatment of nervous system disorders. For more information, visit http://www.aneuroa.org.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

John Wiley & Sons, Inc.. "Mystery Blood Vessel Disorder Implicated In 'Mini' Strokes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 March 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050308093241.htm>.
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.. (2005, March 11). Mystery Blood Vessel Disorder Implicated In 'Mini' Strokes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050308093241.htm
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.. "Mystery Blood Vessel Disorder Implicated In 'Mini' Strokes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/03/050308093241.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) Conjoined twins Emmett and Owen Ezell were separated by doctors in August. Now, nearly nine months later, they're being released from the hospital. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins