A new study examines the usefulness of diffusion weighted imaging (DWI), a process of scanning and mapping the brain, in establishing the relationship between abnormalities in the cardiovascular system and stroke. This research is helping to determine how a stroke develops. The study is published in current issue of Journal of Neuroimaging.
DWI is being used to systematically evaluate patients with crytogenic stroke comparing patterns of abnormalities in those with and without patent foramen ovale and atrial septal aneurysms.The study has found that DWI can be beneficial to doctors in helping to establish relationships between several known causes of stroke and the likelihood and pattern of their development. The findings will assist doctors in making therapeutic decisions in individual patients and in identifying which patients may be at a higher risk for suffering a second stroke.
“In these patients, the presence of a specific neurological pattern may provide the information necessary to isolate the role of certain cardio abnormalities as causes of stroke,” says Estevo Santamarina, MD, lead author of the study. “The information may one day lead to better preventative therapies for patients at risk for stroke.”
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