Antidepressants May Help Stroke Victims

Research suggests that antidepressants can help stroke sufferers recover by reducing depression and anxiety during the aftermath of a stroke. The medicine may also aid in the reduction of physical disability and dependence. Researchers at the University of Edinburgh examined 52 studies that show antidepressants can stimulate nerve cell growth in the brain and protect cells that have been damaged by stroke. More here

Winter Raises Risk Of Heart Deaths Regardless of Climate

Cold winter weather was long thought to be the primary cause of seasonal increases in heart-related deaths. But, according to new research, circulatory deaths, including heart attack, heart failure, cardiovascular disease, and stroke, rose up to 36 percent during the winter months regardless of climate. The study, presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2012, analyzed four years worth of death certificate data from seven locations across the country. The results found that, despite covering seven very different climate patterns, the trend in cardiac deaths was very similar. The research wasn’t designed to identify a cause for the increases but Bryan Schwartz, M.D., of the University of New Mexico, said people generally don’t live as healthy in winter as they do in the summer. Schwartz, who was lead author of the study, theorized that the spike in heart-related events may be due to the fact that people don’t eat as well or exercise as much during the winter. More here.

Study Finds No Fish Oil Benefit For Diabetics

A study of 12,500 patients with diabetes or pre-diabetes found taking fish oil supplements had no positive or negative effect on their likelihood of having a heart attack or stroke. The research, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that patients who took the supplements had the same rate of heart attacks, strokes, and death from heart-related causes as patients who took a placebo. Because the study was conducted on individuals who had an established heart problem or were at high risk, it’s unclear whether fish oil benefits people with a lower risk of heart disease. The researchers also stress that, despite the results, eating a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids is good for heart health. More here.