Which inflammatory markers predict the appearance of a stroke?
Patients that have suffered from a stroke have a higher risk of a similar event happening and, in consequence, greater possibilities of dying. For the first time, 52 hospitals in Spain, three of which (Basurto; Cruces and Bidasoa) in the Basque country, are participating in a study to determine if certain concrete inflammation markers can be linked to the appearance of a new stroke or other vascular events such as myocardiac arrest. The MÍTICO study was presented at the IV International Meeting on Isquemic Ictus.
The study included patients from different Autonomous Communities and that had suffered a stroke one to three months previously. By means of periodical controls, a number of inflammation markers found in the plasma (interleucines, metalloproteases, fibronectines) were studied over a period of a year. "We know that that there are certain inflammation markers that can contribute to patients suffering from new strokes or other vascular events such as heart attack. In fact, those who have chronic mouth infections or inflammatory processes have a greater risk of repeating these illnesses", explains doctor José Castillo, coordinator of the MÍTICO project.
A second objective of this work is to determine if the use of habitual pharmaceutical drugs in these patients (plaque antiagregants, antihypertensives, estatines) is also associated with a decrease in the inflammation markers analysed, i.e. what effect these treatments have on the inflammation markers. Doctor Castillo says that the conclusions of the study will be known in less than three months.
Another objective of the MÍTICO study is to find out the influence of the inflammation markers on the cognitive evolution of the patients. "The results will tell us up to what point the recurrence of new ictus events and inflammation markers condition the tendency to cognitive deterioration. Nevertheless, this will involve studies on many more patients in order to reach definitive conclusions", doctor Castillo pointed out.
Ictus, general information
The studies undertaken in Spain show an incidence of ictus between 4.012 and 7.100 for every 100,000 inhabitants over 64 years. One in ten deaths in Spain is caused by an ictus or stroke – a term to describe brain diseases caused by a blood circulation problem. This neurological crisis is the third cause of death in Spain and the first amongst women. It causes more disabilities and premature deaths than do Alzheimer's disease and traffic accidents put together. Currently, almost a million persons have overcome, with or without after effects, this disease which causes one death every fourteen minutes in Spain. Every year some 120,000-130,000 Spanish people are affected by the infirmity.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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