Top 5 Takeaways on Stroke

Dr. Eric Adelman's Mini Med School presentation focuses on stroke prevention and treatment

mini_med_school_cardiovascular_graphic stroke BlogLeading U-M Frankel CVC researchers and physicians are advancing knowledge, finding new treatments and applying new technologies. Each week one of them shared his or her expertise in a six-week Mini Med School community education program focused on cardiovascular topics.

Here are the Top 5 Takeaways from Dr. Eric Adelman’s Mini Med School presentation on Stroke Prevention and Treatment:

1. Know the signs of stroke

Brain damage can begin within minutes of experiencing a stroke, so it’s important to know the signs of stroke and to seek immediate treatment by calling 911. Rapid treatment can significantly improve your outcome.

Common stroke symptoms experienced by both men and women include:

  • Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg, particularly on one side of the body.
  • Sudden trouble speaking or understanding.
  • Sudden trouble walking or difficulty with balance or coordination or dizziness.
  • Sudden difficulty seeing or double vision.
  • Sudden severe headache without a clear cause.

FAST (Face drooping, Arm weakness, Speech difficulty, Time to call 911) is an easy way to remember the sudden signs of a stroke. When you spot the signs, call 911 for help.

2. Maintain a healthy blood pressure

Half of all strokes are attributed to high blood pressure. If individuals with high blood pressure can drop the top number of their blood pressure reading by 10 points, they can reduce their risk of stroke by 25 to 30 percent. Most people need medication to lower their blood pressure, but lifestyle factors can also play a role. Don’t smoke, get regular exercise, eat a healthy diet (e.g., Mediterranean diet) and try to avoid added salt.

3. Afib is a risk factor

Individuals with atrial fibrillation (Afib) have an increased risk of stroke, so it’s important to take your medication (warfarin or other anti-coagulant) on a regular basis to help reduce your risk of stroke.

4. Prevention is key

It’s much easier to prevent a stroke than to treat one, so be proactive if you have certain risk factors. For example, if you have diabetes, take the necessary steps to control it. Make sure your cholesterol is well-managed. And keep your blood pressure under control.

5. New device to treat stroke

A new type of device known as a stent retriever has shown tremendous promise in treating stroke patients. Stents, similar to the ones used to open clogged heart arteries, are being used to clear a blood clot in the brain, reducing the amount of disability after a stroke. The stent is temporarily inserted via catheter through the groin to flatten the clot and trap it, and is then removed with the clot. The stent retriever procedure is used for patients with severe strokes.

Take the next step:

Adelman_eric150x150Dr. Eric Adelman is assistant professor of neurology at the University of Michigan and co-director of the U-M Comprehensive Stroke Center. He received his medical degree from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.




Frankel-informal-vertical-sigThe University of Michigan Samuel and Jean Frankel Cardiovascular Center is a top-ranked heart and heart surgery program among Michigan hospitals. To learn more, visit our website at The U-M Stroke Program is accredited as a Comprehensive Stroke Center by the Joint Commission and participates in the American Stroke Association “Get With The Guidelines®” Quality Initiative.

U-M Mott Heart Walk team walks in memory of baby Callen

Callen's Crusaders walking in honor of baby who lost his life to hypoplastic left heart syndrome

Mott team blog

Members of the Mott team, who walked together in the 2014 Heart Walk, will join forces again this year, walking in memory of baby Callen.

On May 9, hundreds of U-M employees will lace up their walking shoes at the Eastern Michigan University campus as they join the effort to fight heart disease. They’ll be walking in the American Heart Association’s 2015 Washtenaw County Heart Walk/5K Run to raise money for cardiovascular education and research.

Among these dedicated walkers will be Dianne Sadler, a referral coordinator at Mott Children’s Hospital’s Pediatric Medical Specialty Clinics, and her team, “Callen’s Crusaders.” Together, they’ll be walking in memory of Callen, the son of U-M co-worker Tammara Francis. Born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS), sadly, Callen died on the day he was born.

Making strides in the fight against heart disease

HLHS is a birth defect that affects normal blood flow through the heart. As the baby develops during pregnancy, the left side of the heart does not form correctly. Hypoplastic left heart syndrome is one type of congenital heart defect.

Heart defects, the most common type of defect babies are born with, affect approximately 1 out of every 110 babies. According to the American Heart Association, heart defects continue to be the greatest source of infant deaths related to birth defects.

HW_LIW_CMYK_red+k_HThe University of Michigan Health System is making great strides in the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease through top-notch clinical and research capabilities. The American Heart Association supports these efforts and funds many cardiovascular research studies within U-M. In return, U-M is a major supporter of the AHA’s 2015 Washtenaw County Heart Walk/5K Run, which raises money for cardiovascular education and research.

Why they walk

The decision to walk in memory of Callen was a natural one for Dianne, who has participated in several Heart Walks in the past, including last year when she and her team, Ethan’s Emissaries, walked in support of another co-worker whose unborn child was also diagnosed with HLHS. Ethan, born just 12 days after last year’s walk, is healthy as he nears his first birthday.

Dianne says the Heart Walk is a good way for her and her team to show support for Tammara, to honor the memory of Callen and to raise funds for heart disease research. The team’s fundraising goal this year is $2,000.

This show of support is a blessing to Tammara, who is pregnant and unable to walk with Callen’s Crusaders. But her thoughts will be with the team as they walk in memory of her firstborn child.

Take the next step:

  • To join the U-M Team, visit
  • For questions or help registering, contact Tara Tomcsik (, 734-945-5895) or Traci Fischer (, 734-232-1866).

new_logos_180x1806For more than 160 years, the University of Michigan Health System has been a national leader in advanced patient care, innovative research to improve human health and comprehensive education of physicians and medical scientists. The three U-M hospitals have been recognized numerous times for excellence in patient care, including a #1 ranking in Michigan and national rankings in many specialty areas by U.S. News & World Report.  

I need a cardiologist … now what?

U-M Call Center professionals make the process smooth

CVC_Call_Center_004 blog

The U-M Call Center team (from left): Cheryl Palmer, Sandy Coffey, Andrea Navarre and Ashley Chang.

Your primary physician just recommended you see a cardiologist for a suspected heart condition. So where do you go from here?

If you decide you’d like to see a University of Michigan Frankel Cardiovascular Center cardiologist, the process is straightforward, beginning with a call to one of our Call Center professionals.

Call Center professionals are here to help guide you through the process of identifying the right cardiologist.

Getting started

“We start by gathering as much information from the caller as possible,” says Andrea Navarre. This includes a diagnosis (if one was given by the primary doctor) and a description of any symptoms the person is experiencing. “We realize that finding the right doctor can be overwhelming. That’s why we’re here to provide guidance and to point each caller to a cardiologist who aligns with his or her specific diagnosis or needs.” Continue reading

The ABCs of Stroke

Stroke Health Issue CrosswordStroke is now the fourth leading cause of death and the leading cause of disability in the United States. Because stroke is so prevalent, we all need to know about this harmful disease. We asked stroke neurologist Eric E. Adelman, M.D., to tell us more.

What are the warning signs of stroke?

F.A.S.T. is an easy way to remember the signs of stroke. When you spot the signs, you’ll know you need to call 9-1-1 for help right away. F.A.S.T. stands for:

  • Face. Does the face look uneven?
  • Arm. Does one arm drift down?
  • Speech. Does the person’s speech sound strange?
  • Time. It’s time to call 9-1-1.

Why is it so important to get help quickly?

The time that passes between the first onset of symptoms and the administration of clot-dissolving treatment called tPA can make a difference in how well a person’s brain, arms, legs, speech or thinking ability recover. TPA stands for tissue plasminogen activator.

What exactly is stroke? Continue reading

Add fresh herbs for great flavor and heart-healthy benefits

Get onboard with basil

herbs blogFresh herbs add great flavor to a variety of dishes and are a wonderful complement to a Mediterranean-style eating plan. Adding herbs to recipes also eliminates the need for salt. A low-sodium diet may help improve blood pressure, thus reducing your risk of heart disease and stroke. Herbs also provide healthy antioxidants and, if you grow them yourself, will be at peak quality for your favorite recipes.

We’ll take a look at several different herbs in the coming months, starting today with basil. Be sure to check back often to learn more about herbs and how they can be used in specific recipes.

The benefits of basil

If you’re excited to get your herb garden started, begin by planting basil seeds indoors in early to mid-April. The plants can be transplanted outdoors when the temperatures are above 50 degrees Fahrenheit, even at night. Because it is sensitive to cooler temperatures, basil is an annual herb in Michigan. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, frequent care through pruning will result in greater production of leaves. Continue reading

New Hope For Stroke Treatment

A new specialty called neurointervention is helping to make huge strides in stroke diagnosis, treatment and care. We spoke with neurointerventional radiologist Neeraj Chaudhary, MD, MRCS, FRCR, an assistant professor of radiology and neurosurgery, to help us understand this new specialty that is proving extremely successful in treating stroke patients. Dr. Chaudhary works with a team consisting of neuroradiologists, neurosurgeons, neurologists, emergency physicians, vascular surgeons, physiatrists, neurointensivists, physical and occupational therapists, and speech and language pathologists to provide the most comprehensive and the best possible stroke treatment and care.

Dr. Neeraj Chaudhary looks over brain scans in the regions first neurointerventional radiology suite.

Dr. Neeraj Chaudhary looks over brain scans in the region’s first neurointerventional radiology suite.

What is neurointervention and how are neurointerventional procedures performed?

Neurointervention is the treatment of neurological disorders in the brain and spinal cord from within the blood vessels themselves.

These are minimally invasive procedures in which the neurointerventional radiologist or neurosurgeon enters the arterial system through a small incision and then pushes a catheter through the blood vessel to the precise point of the clot or rupture. Through this catheter, the neurointerventionist has many options that can help save the patient’s life and limit the amount of disability the patient will have after the stroke. Continue reading