Results of the new study indicate that these inflammatory markers are associated with long-term prognosis after a first stroke, and may help guide clinical care for people who have suffered a first stroke.

A biomarker called lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2 (Lp-PLA2), which has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to predict the risk of first stroke, was found to be a strong predictor of recurrent stroke risk. Researchers also found that elevated levels of another biomarker called high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), a test commonly used to predict risk of heart disease, was associated with more severe strokes and an increased risk of mortality.

“A better understanding of biomarkers for stroke risk may lead to the use of prophylactic treatments to reduce risk of people suffering debilitating strokes,” said lead author Mitchell S. V. Elkind, M.D., M.S., associate professor of Neurology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and neurologist at NewYork-Presbyterian. “For example, statins appear to lower these biomarker levels, so our next step may be to study the clinical benefit of prescribing statins to reduce the risk of stroke in people with elevated biomarkers, and also to treat people who have suffered a stroke so that they do not have another serious event.”

The research was conducted by taking blood samples from 467 patients who had just suffered their first ischemic stroke, from the Northern Manhattan Stroke Study, a long-term prospective study among people from the Washington Heights neighbourhood in Northern Manhattan and the surrounding area.

MEDICA.de; Source: Columbia University Medical Center