Deans' stroke musings

Changing stroke rehab and research worldwide now.Time is Brain!Just think of all the trillions and trillions of neurons that DIE each day because there are NO effective hyperacute therapies besides tPA(only 12% effective). I have 493 posts on hyperacute therapy, enough for researchers to spend decades proving them out. These are my personal ideas and blog on stroke rehabilitation and stroke research. Do not attempt any of these without checking with your medical provider. Unless you join me in agitating, when you need these therapies they won't be there.

What this blog is for:

Shortly after getting out of the hospital and getting NO information on the process or protocols of stroke rehabilitation and recovery I started searching on the internet and found that no other survivor received useful information. This is an attempt to cover all stroke rehabilitation information that should be readily available to survivors so they can talk with informed knowledge to their medical staff. It's quite disgusting that this information is not available from every stroke association and doctors group.
My back ground story is here:

Friday, January 27, 2017

Impact of Physical Activity Before Stroke

Well, the week before my stroke I was on a whitewater canoe trip in Canada, class III+. Dog River, Ontario(23 miles and dropping 1050 feet with a 1.5 mile portage around a 120 ft. waterfall). We only portaged 5 times. 3 years post-stroke at a physical I had a resting heart rate of 54 at age 53, meaning I had the cardiovascular fitness of an athlete, even with doing no exercise for 3 years. I was in shape.
That fitness allowed me to go on a an extended wilderness canoe trip 3 years post-stroke. In 2009 this was my 'vacation'. A 21 day canoe trip on the Eagle, Bell and Porcupine rivers in the Yukon and Alaska with Wilderness Inquiry. I wouldn't call it a vacation because we paddled every day and I was quite fatigued every day. I ended up being the only disabled person on the trip.
Because of my fitness and my superior balance I take risks no survivor should try to follow.
So my read on this research is that YOUR pretreatment for stroke requires you to be very physically fit. This allows your doctor to not have to do one goddamn thing about your recovery after your stroke. Like maybe solving these  5 causes of neuronal cascade of death in the first week
Research has suggested that people who have higher levels of physical activity before a stroke have better outcomes after the stroke has occurred, but scientists have yet to understand the underlying mechanisms.1
Now a study has found that increased physical activity before a stroke may increase levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). The study further found that higher levels of physical activity as well as higher levels of VEGF were linked to improved stroke outcomes and smaller infarct size. Results were published online in the Journal of Stroke and Cardiovascular Diseases.2
“In the present study we have observed that a high level of self-reported physical activity prior to stroke was associated with greater VEGF expression in the first days after ischemic stroke. Likewise, this increment in VEGF levels was independently associated with a reduction in final infarct volume and with improvement of functional outcome at 3 months,” wrote first author Elena Lopez-Cancio, MD, PhD, of the Universidad Autónoma Barcelona (UAB) (Barcelona, Spain), and colleagues.
The study was part of the AFRICA (Prestroke Physical Activity and Functional Recovery in patients with Ischemic stroke and Arterial Occlusion) study. Participants were included if they had experienced an acute ischemic event in the anterior large artery, and were admitted to a single tertiary care stroke center in Barcelona, Spain between June 2008 and January 2011.
Using a validated questionnaire, participants self-reported their physical activity in the past week before the stroke. They also provided blood samples for evaluation of circulating VEGF, granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Levels of these angiogenic and neurogenic factors were evaluated upon admission, at 7 days, and three months post-stroke.
The analysis included 83 patients, with a mean age of 69.6 years.
Key results:
• VEGF increased from baseline to day 7
♦ This increase was significantly higher in those with higher pre-stroke physical activity vs lower activity (mean increase 30.1 pg/mL versus 14.4 pg/mL, P<0.05)
♦ This increase was linked to significantly better NIHSS stroke severity scores at admission (−031, P=0.004) and at day 7 (−.65, P<0.001)
• Higher prestroke physical activity was linked to smaller infarct volume 30 days post-stroke and better functional outcome at 3 months
• Higher serum VEGF at day 7 was independently linked to smaller infarct volume at 30 days, and improved functional outcome at 3 months
• G-CSF and BDNF were not linked to prestroke physical activity or stroke outcomes
The authors provided several explanations for these results. Past studies have suggested that physical activity may increase VEGF expression. In turn, animal studies have suggested that VEGF may play a role in neuroprotection, neurogenesis, nitric oxide-induced angiogenesis and repair of the postischemic brain. Animals studies have also suggested that VEGF expression in parts of the brain increases after an ischemic event, and this increase has been linked to smaller infarct volume.
If VEGF is neuroprotective, administering it after stroke may improve outcomes, they suggested. Unfortunately, studies that have evaluated post-stroke VEGF delivery show positive but also negative effects, including blood-brain barrier leakage and brain edema. The authors propose that physical activity may be a safe way to increase VEGF production, rather than delivering exogenous VEGF.
“Although there are probably more molecular mechanisms by which physical activity exerts its beneficial effects in stroke outcomes, our observation regarding the potential role of VEGF is plausible and in line with previous experimental studies. Further research in this field is needed,” they concluded.
Take-home Points
• A study in Spain found that VEGF increases from baseline to day 7 in patients with ischemic stroke.
• Patients with higher levels of pre-stroke physical activity had greater increases in VEGF than those with lower levels of pre-stroke physical activity.
• Higher increases in VEGF and higher levels of pre-stroke activity were linked to improved functional outcomes at three months, and smaller infarct size at 30 days.
Physical activity may be one way to increase synthesis of VEGF, which may be neuroprotective in stroke.
• Further studies are needed.
This study was partially supported by the Instituto de Salud Carlos III, the Spanish Research Network on Cerebrovascular Diseases, and the European Union program FEDER. Drs. Campos and Sobrino have received research contracts from Miguel Servet Program of Instituto de Salud Carlos III. Dr. López-Cancio has received a research contract from Juan Rodés program of Instituto de Salud Carlos III.

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