Why strokes harm women, men in different ways

In a new study from Massachusetts General Hospital, researchers found why stroke affects men and women differently.

They showed Women have more strokes, and are more likely to have symptoms such as fatigue and mental confusion rather than classic indications such as paralysis. Women also tend to have more severe strokes.

The researchers found the location of the stroke’s damage in the brain may provide some clues.

To learn more about sex-specific differences in stroke, they examined more than 1,000 brain imaging scans of ischemic stroke patients. An ischemic stroke is caused by blocked blood flow in the brain.

They found that stroke severity in women is linked to lesions (areas of tissue damage) in the left hemisphere of the brain, in the vicinity of blood vessels at or near the back of the brain.

The lesions in the left posterior [back] part of the brain lead to higher stroke severity in women than in men

Identifying gender-specific areas of brain damage that are linked with certain disabilities after ischemic stroke could lead to more “sex-aware” treatments.

For example, women with stroke damage that affects vulnerable areas might benefit more than men from surgery to remove a blood clot.

The team says sex-informed acute stroke care has the potential to reduce the burden of disease on patients.

If you care about strokes, please read studies about what a mini stroke is, and why you need to act FAST and findings of these two food linked to higher risk of diabetes, stroke and heart disease.

For more information about stroke and your health, please see recent studies about a 47-year-old came home from a work trip and had two strokes and results showing that this common drug is effective for preventing recurrent heart problems and strokes.

The study is published in Nature Communications. One author of the study is Dr. Natalia Rost.

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