Rapid intervention following a stroke is critical. It often means the difference between regained function and lifelong debility. Now, researchers in Spain point to an additional time-sensitive intervention.
Statins, the cholesterol lowering medications, are routinely discontinued during the first 72 hours following a stroke. This practice is one of default; patients are often incapable of normal swallowing in the first days after an ischemic stroke. Ischemic strokes are those caused by a blockage of blood flow to portions of the brain.
The study compared two groups of stroke patients. One group received no statins for the first 72 hours, while the second group continued to receive their statin medications from the first day. The difference in the outcomes at three months was striking.
60% of those receiving no statins during the first 72 hours were either dead or dependent at the 90-day mark. But, only 39% of those that received statins were in similar shape. That's a big difference.
So, take care of yourself. Eat well, exercise consistently, and enjoy life everyday. This may be the best way to protect yourself from having a stroke in the first place. But, if you do suffer a stroke, then listen to the age-old wisdom of your mother: "Take your medicine!"