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  • B vitamins may not prevent cognitive decline, impairment after stroke
  • Stroke risk high during aortic valve repair surgery

NOTE ALL TIMES ARE HAWAII (HT). ALL TIPS ARE EMBARGOED UNTIL THE TIME OF PRESENTATION OR 11 A.M. HT/4 P.M. ET EACH DAY, WHICHEVER COMES FIRST. For more information Feb. 6-8, call the ASA News Media Staff Office at the Hawaii Convention Center:(808) 792-6506. Before or after these dates, call the Communications Office in Dallas at (214) 706-1173. For public inquiries, call (800) AHA-USA1 (242-8721).

7:18 a.m. HT/12:18 p.m. ET – Abstract 173 
B vitamins may not prevent cognitive decline, impairment after stroke 
Taking B vitamins daily may not prevent cognitive decline in people who have had a stroke or transient ischemic attack ;(TIA), according to research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2013.

Stroke is associated with increased risks of cognitive decline and impairment, deterioration of cognitive functions such as memory or thought processing.

Researchers studied whether treatment with B vitamins would help prevent cognitive decline.

Researchers randomly assigned more than 8,000 recent stroke and TIA survivors to take daily either a B vitamin pill (consisting of 2 milligrams of folic acid, 25 milligrams of B6 and 500 micrograms of B12) or a placebo.

About 2,200 patients took a mini-mental state test of their cognition at the study’s start and every six months after for a median of 2.8 years.

Researchers found no notable difference in the incidences of cognitive decline or impairment among participants taking B vitamins compared with placebo.  
8:34 a.m. HT/1:34 p.m. ET – Abstract 199 
Stroke risk high during aortic valve repair surgery 
Clinical stroke after aortic valve surgeries may be higher than prior estimates of 2 percent to 10 percent — and new injury on magnetic resonance imaging ;(MRI) is seen in more than half of patients according to research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2013.

The prevalence of aortic valve disease is increasing as the population ages and the outcomes are not well defined, researchers said.

Researchers studied 184 patients, average age 76, undergoing aortic valve surgery. Patients were evaluated with pre- and post-operative MRI and a neurologist evaluated each patient at day 1, 3, and 7 post-operatively.

Researchers defined clinical stroke as new neurologic symptoms lasting more than 24 hours; a transient ischemic attack ;(TIA) as neurologic symptoms lasting less than 24 hours and without evidence of stroke; and a silent stroke as a lesion seen on MRI, without signs or symptoms of stroke.

Researchers found:

  • 60 percent of patients who underwent MRI after the procedure suffered infarcts – localized areas of dead tissue resulting from obstruction of the blood supply.
  • Sixteen percent had clinical strokes and 2 percent had a TIA.
  • Silent infarcts were identified in over one-third thought to be stroke-free, but these findings were not associated with in-hospital death or increased length of stay.
  • The median length of hospital stay for those without a stroke was 10 days and those who had clinical stroke stayed in the hospital an average 12 days.
  • Moderate or severe strokes, which occurred in 4 percent of the participants, were associated with a 43 percent in-hospital death rate versus 3 percent for all others.
  • Five percent of the patients died in the hospital.

Follow news from the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2013 via Twitter @HeartNews#ISC13.


Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Stroke Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position.  The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events.  The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content.  Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at

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