URIC ACID AND TIA
ANCHOR LEAD: DO HIGHER LEVELS OF URIC ACID CAUSE MINISTROKES? ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
People with high normal levels of uric acid, the cause of gout, suffer more transient ischemic attacks or ministrokes than those with lower levels of uric acid. These ministrokes may explain why uric acid levels also seem to be associated with poorer cognitive function as well, says David Schretlen, a psychologist at Johns Hopkins and one of the study’s investigators.
SCHRETLEN: There is a biologically plausible explanation or rationale for thinking that elevated uric acid could be causing strokes, and if that is the case, reducing uric acid with medications like allopurinol could actually be helpful. On the other hand it could be that uric acid is simply a marker, a signpost, of other processes that are causing changes in the vasculature in the brain. :290
Schretlen says it is premature to recommend allopurinol to decrease levels of uric acid at this point, but that a study examining this possibility is clearly indicated. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.