Folic Acid for Stroke

Cholesterol may not be the bad guy everyone thinks it is. Another substance in our blood seems to cause more harm to our arteries.

When real estate agent Liz Scotney suffered a mild stroke last year, it brought back frightening memories of her father’s final years. “He had, you know, lots of strokes where he was very disoriented and all that kind of thing,” said Liz.

Dr. William Feinberg is a neurologist who wants to protect people like Liz from future strokes. His weapon? A B-vitamin called folic acid.

William Feinburg, M.D., neurologist, University of Arizona, Tucson, Ariz., “Low intake of folic acid is associated with an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. We think that this is through an amino acid in the blood called homocysteine, which damages the blood vessels and makes atherosclerosis more likely.”

Dr. Feinberg gives stroke victims high doses of folic acid and vitamins B-6 and B-12. These vitamins are proven to prevent the buildup of homocysteine.

William Feinberg, M.D., “We hope that by giving more folic acid and lowering homocysteine, we can decrease the risk of heart attack and stroke.”

Liz says the vitamins give her hope that a second stroke will never happen. “If I can be helped not to have another stroke, that’s all I care about.”

Dr. Feinberg says screening for homocysteine may one day become as routine as having your cholesterol checked.

This study is a four-year trial involving 36 U.S. medical centers and 36-hundred patients who have suffered mild, non-debilitating strokes.

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