Atrial ablation on video

Atrial ablation, also called percutaneous pulmonary vein isolation for atrial fibrillation, is a medical procedure that uses small bursts of electricity to stop patches of heart tissue from sending out "beat now" signals that cause the upper chambers of the heart to beat fast and wildly. As part of its Diagnostic and Therapeutic Cardiovascular Procedures section, the journal Circulation has posted a video of the procedure. This particular atrial ablation was done by Drs. Gregory F. Michaud and Roy John, of Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital. (Locked) More »

October 2011 references and further reading

Gorelick PB, Scuteri A, Black SE, Decarli C, Greenberg SM, Iadecola C, Launer LJ, Laurent S, Lopez OL, Nyenhuis D, Petersen RC, Schneider JA, Tzourio C, Arnett DK, Bennett DA, Chui HC, Higashida RT, Lindquist R, Nilsson PM, Roman GC, Sellke FW, Seshadri S. Vascular contributions to cognitive impairment and dementia. Stroke 2011. Jolly SS, Yusuf S, Cairns J, Niemela K, Xavier D, Widimsky P, Budaj A, Niemela M, Valentin V, Lewis BS, Avezum A, Steg PG, Rao SV, Gao P, Afzal R, Joyner CD, Chrolavicius S, Mehta SR. Radial versus femoral access for coronary angiography and intervention in patients with acute coronary syndromes (RIVAL): a randomised, parallel group, multicentre trial. Lancet 2011; 377:1409-20. Brien SE, Ronksley PE, Turner BJ, Mukamal KJ, Ghali WA. Effect of alcohol consumption on biological markers associated with risk of coronary heart disease: systematic review and meta-analysis of interventional studies. BMJ 2011; 342:d636. (Locked) More »

Screening tests to identify problem drinkers

Several screening tests have been developed to assess whether a person might have a drinking problem. Among these are the CAGE and AUDIT tests, as well as a questionnaire from the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV). If either of these test results suggests that you have an alcohol problem, contact your doctor, a psychotherapist, a substance abuse rehabilitation program, or a self-help group.  (Locked) More »

Blood vessel disease linked to dementia

Blood vessel problems can have a significant effect on the health of the brain, including contributing to the development of dementia. Improving and safeguarding blood flow to and through the brain should help delay, minimize, or even prevent memory loss well into old age. The steps you take to protect the arteries in your heart and keep them healthy should do the same thing in your brain. These include controlling blood pressure, exercising, and eating a healthy diet. (Locked) More »

The smartphone will see you now

Hundreds of heart-related applications are available for the iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and other smartphones. Many are little more than glorified diaries or pamphlets. A growing number, though, are tapping into the sophisticated technology packed into these phones. Here are a few examples of useful heart-related apps and devices. (Locked) More »