The Brain Health Index and You

No one is immune from the possibility of a stroke. In fact, in the United States today, someone has a stroke every 40 seconds. Although the stroke death rate has declined over 28 percent from 2004 to 2014, stokes still account for 11.8 percent of deaths worldwide and is the second-leading global cause of death, just behind heart disease. Although there are methods in place that attempt to predict how well someone will recover from a stroke, a new computer program is emerging, the Brain Health Index, and it is said to be ten times more accurate that current methods.

Developed by scientists at the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow, the Brain Health Index can assess whole brain deterioration and quantify visible injury from cerebral small vessel disease (SVD) and brain atrophy by translating the million-plus bits of information stored in brain scans into one, single measure… the brain health index. Since brain tissue atrophy and SVD are often indicators of risk factor for stroke and dementia, the brain health index can give early warning of cognitive decline, even before any symptoms are noticed.

Currently, brain scans help doctors to determine that a stroke has occurred and whether a survivor may be at risk of developing cognitive problems or dementia. The brain health index study predicted deficits commonly seen in stroke patients more strongly that current clinical methods and other programs in 288 participants of healthy working age.

One proponent of the use of the brain health index is actress Sharon Stone. One afternoon in 2001, at the age of 43, Ms. Stone felt a “lighting bolt” of pain to the head so severe that it knocked her unconscious. After coming to in a confused state, she knew she needed help but could not drive and did not make it to the emergency room for 72 hours. Once in the ER, she was given a CT scan and CT angiogram. Usually excellent tools for detecting brain hemorrhage, the scans showed nothing. Although these procedures are nearly perfect in the first six hours, as time passes, the scan’s sensitivity decreases. Ms. Stone’s life was saved but her road to recovery was a long one. In the months that followed, her physical and cognitive health started to improve. Dietary changes, exercise and intermittent follow up with her neurologist and other specialists helped her along her road to recovery. As research continues into early predictors of stroke and the best paths to recovery, tools such as the brain health index are giving patients new possibilities and renewed hope.

If you believe that you, or someone you love, is experiencing a stroke, act fast and get help as soon as possible. Time is of the essence here. If you have experienced a stroke and would like to learn more about how drug-free therapies such as Chiropractic Neurology can help with your recovery, please contact the team at Georgia Chiropractic Neurology today.

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