Guidelines for Stroke Prevention in Women are Welcomed

Louise McCullough, MD, PhD, FAHA
Louise McCullough, MD, PhD, FAHA

Guidelines for the prevention of stroke in women have been created or the first time. An expert panel was convened by the American Heart Association, The American Stroke Association, to establish guidelines for stroke prevention in women. The panel consisted of experts in many fields, including neurology, cardiology, nursing, obstetrics and gynecology, nursing, and internal medicine.

Two Goddess Scholars were named to lead the panel in establishing new guidelines: CHAIRMAN, Cheryl Bushnell, MD, MHS, FAHA, Associate Professor of Neurology at University of Wake Forest University, and VICE-CHAIRMAN, Louise McCullough, MD, PhD, FAHA, Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience at the University of Connecticut Health Center. Another Goddess Fund scholar Judith H. Lichtman, PhD, Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at Yale University and Goddess Fund, Medical Advisory Board member Karen L., Chair Furie, MD, MPH, FAHA, Professor and Chair of Neurology, Alpert Medical School for Brown University.

These findings are a great step forward and of major significance in creating public awareness of the importance of preventing strokes in women. The panel has determined that there are several factors in Americans who suffer new or recurrent stroke every year. The panel reviewed research published through May 2013, covering different conditions in which stroke occurred in women in order to develop.
Dr. McCullough remarked that "These guidelines hopefully will fill gaps in our knowledge about the unique risk factors which affect women".

Analysis of past research led to the development of her guidelines and is something every woman should know. The new guidelines for stroke risk in women are the following.

  1. Women who suffer migraine headaches with aura should stop smoking to reduce stroke risk. Auras are visual, auditory, or other types of disturbances that can proceed migraine headaches.
  2. Low-dose aspirin and/or calcium supplements should be considered for women with a history of high blood pressure in order to reduce preeclampsia risk.
  3. Women over 75 should be screened for atrial fibrillation because of its association with increased risk of stroke.
  4. Preeclampsia should be seen as a risk factor for stroke long after pregnancy. Women who have this condition have twice the risk the risk of a stroke along with a four times greater chance of high blood pressure.
  5. Pregnant women should be screened for high blood pressure and be treated accordingly.
  6. Diabetes, depression and emotional stress are more common in women than in men.
  7. Other risk factors in pregnant women, e.g. obesity, smoking and high cholesterol should be treated aggressively.

Goddess Fund Launches in Palm Beach at Breakers Luncheon

Former Doctor of The Year Jim Grotta Talks About Stroke Treatment

Goddess Fund Launches in Palm Beach at Breakers Luncheon
Lynn B. Goddess, Goddess Fund Chair, left and Dr. James C. Grotta, featured speaker, right

The Hazel K Goddess Fund for Stroke Research in Women presented its launch luncheon on April 5, 2012 at The Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida.

Dr. James C. Grotta, chairman of the Neurology Department at the University of Texas Medical School and former Heart Association doctor of the year spoke about “Recognizing and Treating Stroke in Women”. Dr. Grotta also serves as a member of The Goddess Fund's Medical Advisory Board. Attendees were amazed to learn about key symptoms and treatments for different kinds of stroke, including a German “Stroke Mobile” equipped with CAT scan, other equipment and medical personnel used to accelerate diagnosis and treatment. Many prominent local women who participated in the luncheon felt such a Stroke Mobile would be a very important addition to the Palm Beaches and neighboring communities.

During the cocktail reception and lunch, there was also informal modeling by John de Madeiros International Boutique and event sponsor David Yurman provided jewelry worn by the models.

About 100 people attended the event including local residents and co-chairs Ellen Levy, Jan Willinger, Susan Keenan (who served as Master of Ceremonies) and trustees Mary Mochary, Donna Scully and founder Lynn B. Goddess, who chaired the event. Other local residents in attendance included Mickey Beyer, Sandy Heine, Ambassador Nancy Brinker, Dorothy Kohl, Andrea Spark, Lori Gendelman, Dale Coudert, Vicki Kellogg, Anka Palitz and Gail Nessel.

Among other attending Goddess trustees were Karen Butler, Carolyn Carter and Sandy Gooch.

The mission of the Goddess Fund, which is to promote basic and clinical research on Stroke in Women and establish preventive measures and treatments within the health care system, resonated with the audience. Trustees and luncheon guests are following up in exploring the means and local support necessary to establish stroke care using stroke mobiles in the Palm Beaches.

The Hazel K. Goddess Fund for Stroke Research in Women Announces New Medical Advisory Board Member

Sean I. Savitz, M.D.
Sean I. Savitz, M.D.

The Goddess Fund is proud to announce the appointment of the newest member to its Medical Advisory Board. Sean I. Savitz MD, Professor of Neurology and director of the Stroke Program at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston, Texas.

Dr. Savitz graduated from Harvard College, received his MD from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and completed his neurology residency training and a cerebrovascular fellowship at the Harvard Medical School Neurology Training Program. He is a physician-scientist investigating novel treatment approaches including stem cell therapies for cerebrovascular disease and is the author of over 100 publications in the biomedical literature. Dr. Savitz oversees a bidirectional laboratory and clinical research program in stroke and is conducting some of the first clinical trials testing stem cell therapies in stroke. He is funded by grants from the National Institute of Health and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

The Goddess Fund Medical Advisory Board is comprised of scientists, neurologists, and neurosurgeons from around the country working at the most prestigious medical facilities. These doctors provide continued expertise and support to the Fund throughout the year.

Randy Marshall Recent Advances in Treatment of Stroke - Synopsis

Randolph S. Marshall, MD, MS
Randolph S. Marshall, MD, MS

Our Medical Advisory Board member Randolph S. Marshall, MD, MS, Professor of Neurology, Chief of Stroke Division, Department of Neurology, spoke at the New York Presbyterian 15th Annual Medical Symposium on "Recent Advances in Treatment of Stroke" on February 10, 2014 at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, FL. Dr. Marshall explained that strokes may be divided into two main categories -- blockage of a blood vessel in the brain (ischemic stroke) or a burst blood vessel in the brain (hemorrhage). Ischemic stroke is the most common type and may be caused by blood clots in the heart that travel to the brain, narrowing of the carotid arteries, or by degeneration of the small blood vessels deep within the brain. Regardless of the cause, the most important fact about treatment of ischemic stroke is that it must be carried out within 3 hours of the onset of symptoms to be effective.

In identifying stroke he stressed the importance of the use of the acronym: F.A.S.T.: F is for Face. (Is the face drooping on one side?) A is for Arm. (Is there weakness or clumsiness in one arm?) S is for Speech. (Is the person having trouble speaking?) T is for Time. (Time to call 9-1-1!) The treatment of stroke involves the use of the intravenous clot-buster, tPA. There are also more advanced, experimental treatments available at some comprehensive stroke centers that use catheters to pull the clots out of the blood vessels in the brain.

What about stroke prevention? The AHA recommends treatment of blood pressure to a target of 120-130 over 80. Cholesterol and diabetes are also treatment targets. Small amounts of alcohol such as a glass of wine per day may actually help reduce cholesterol-related atherosclerosis. Finally, physical activity and exercise can help reduce stroke risk. These "modifiable" risk factors should be treated aggressively to minimize the chances of stroke occurring. Once a stroke does occur the chances of recovery depend on the size and location of the stroke within the brain. Recovery also depends on the ability of the brain to "re-wire" and "reorganize" itself in a process known as neuroplasticity. Newer rehabilitation techniques attempt to enhance this process by restricting the use of the unaffected limb, giving electrical or magnetic stimulation to certain brain regions, or the use of certain classes of anti-depressants. With recent advances in stroke prevention, acute stroke treatment and stroke rehabilitation it is our hope to continue to reduce the incidence and disability from stroke in the future.

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The Hazel K. Goddess Fund for Stroke Research in Women  |  785 Park Avenue #3E  |  New York, NY 10021
Phone 561.623.0504  |  Fax 561.623.0502