Biological age and not chronological age may help predict a patient's recovery three months after a stroke, according to a preliminary study presented at the American Heart Association's International Stroke Conference 2017.
Age is considered an important predictor of the severity of a stroke, but the chronological number is not the only way to measure age.
Researchers analyzed 600 adults with ischemic stroke (clot-caused stroke) who were assessed in Hospital del Mar in Barcelona. Biological age was estimated by analyzing a particular characteristic in DNA molecules that change over time (degree of methylation at 71 specific sites throughout the genome of the individual).
Researchers found DNA structure changes as a person gets older, so the extent of change can be used as an estimate of biological age. Other indicators that may also predict a patient's recovery are neurological status at admission, degree of changes in mobility after stroke, and promptness of the restoration of blood flow in the brain.
The findings suggest biological age is an important factor in a patient's recovery after stroke and better stroke recovery is another benefit of healthy aging, researchers said.
Jordi Jimenez-Conde, M.D., Ph.D., Institut Hospital del Mar d'Investigacions Mèdiques, Barcelona, Spain.
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