The discovery of a mutant gene, could be the answer to reducing the risk of a stroke and preventing disability, scientists have said.
The discovery of the association between this genetic variant and stroke identifies a new target for potential treatments which could help reduce the risk of stroke in the future.
It is also significant that no association was found with small vessel disease, as this suggests that stroke sub-types involve different genetic mechanisms which emphasises the need for individualised treatments.
– Dr Frances Williams, lead researcher from King's College London
Eating oily fish has already been linked to other health benefits such as reducing the risk of heart disease.
The Food Standards Agency recommends that everyone should eat at least two 140g portions of fish a week, including one portion of oily fish.
From past research we know that eating plenty of fish is good for our general health.
This research shows that it could also help to protect us against stroke. However, it's interesting to see that taking fish oil supplements doesn't have the same beneficial effect.
People who eat lots of fish may have healthier diets in general which could go some way to explain the results. However, a lot more research is needed in this area before we decide to eat fish every day of the week.
– Dr Peter Coleman, deputy director of research at the Stroke Association
Research suggests that eating two portions of oily fish a week could help prevent a stroke.
An international team of researchers, including academic Dr Rajiv Chowdhury, examined the association between oily fish, which are a good source of Omega 3 fatty acids, and the risk of strokes or mini-strokes.
They looked at 38 studies involving almost 800,000 people across 15 countries, and examined participants' fish and long chain omega 3 fatty acid consumption. During the studies, a total of 34,817 strokes and mini strokes were recorded.
After adjusting for several risk factors, participants eating two to four servings a week had a 6% lower risk of stroke compared with those who consumed one portion or less every week, the study found.
We are making steady progress towards achieving the standards set, but there a still too many patients who are being treated too slowly with unacceptable variability around the country. Care should be focused in centres that are well-organised and experienced in performing carotid endarterectomy surgery.
– Professor Tony Rudd, Royal College of Physicians Clinical Effectiveness and Evaluation Unit
This is an excellent example of how the benefits of intervening early are being translated into routine clinical practice. Britain has led the drive towards expedited surgery around the world and the latest results reflect the hard work that has gone towards achieving this for our patients.
– Professor Ross Naylor, President of the Vascular Society
The audit of stroke care found there were considerable variations in performance amongst hospitals, partly because of patient awareness about services. It found patients received surgery more quickly in London than in all other regions.