For many patients, cholesterol-lowering statin drugs can reduce therisk of strokes as well as heart attacks . But in a review article, Loyola University Health Systemneurologists caution that statins may not be appropriate forcertain categories of patients who are at-risk for stroke. The article, by Dr. Murray Flaster and colleagues, appears in theAugust issue of the journal Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics. Vehicle Black Box Car Camera
A landmark 2006 study known as SPARCL, published in the New EnglandJournal of Medicine, found that in patients who have experiencedstrokes or transient ischemic attacks (mini strokes), statinsreduced the risk of subsequent strokes by 16 percent. But this benefit generally applies only to patients who haveexperienced ischemic strokes, which are caused by blood clots inbrain vessels. About 85 percent of strokes are ischemic. And even among ischemic stroke patients, there is a small subgroupthat should be placed on statin therapy only “with circumspection,”the researchers write. GSM Multimedia Phone Watch
These patients are those who have hadstrokes in small blood vessels, have poorly controlled high blood pressure and consume more than one drink of alcohol per day. The picture is more varied for the 15 percent of stroke patientswho have had hemorrhagic strokes (caused by bleeding on or in thebrain). There are two types of hemorrhagic stroke: aneurysmalsubarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) and intracranial hemorrhage (ICH). ASAH stroke involves bleeding over the surface of the brain, whilean ICH stroke involves bleeding inside the brain. Statins have been postulated to help recovery in patients with SAH.While the jury is still out, “the overall evidence slightly favorsa benefit,” researchers wrote. Night Vision IP Cameras Manufacturer
But high-dose statin therapy “should be avoided as routine therapyin ICH patients until the competing risks and benefits are betterunderstood,” the researchers wrote. Complicating matters further, if a patient who is on statinsexperiences a SAH or ICH stroke, he or she should remain on thedrugs in the short run. “Reassessment of continuing statin utilityin these patients should be considered immediately after recovery,”researchers write. Flaster and colleagues write that more research is needed: “Clearly, the potential influences of statins are so broad andmixed and the potential for effects and counter-effects so likelythat both careful science and detailed clinical investigation,especially well-designed clinical trials, will be needed to realizeand document effective and safe therapeutic intervention.” Source: Loyola University Health System Additional References Citations.