A team of researchers from the Department of Neurology Feinberg School of Medicine Northwestern University Chicago conducted a study to determine whether blood pressure variability (BPV) could trigger wake-up stroke. Blood pressure variability is notable for having circadian rhythms that follow a 24-hour cycle.
A wake-up stroke is when stroke symptoms are not present prior to falling asleep, which is responsible for about 25 percent of all ischemic strokes. However, there are very few studies that have focused on the triggers or mechanisms of stroke onset during sleep.
The findings reveal that within the first 24 hours after stroke onset, non-wake up stroke patients have a lower nocturnal blood pressure variability that those with wake-up stroke. This means that blood pressure variability may trigger stroke symptoms, particularly during sleep.
The researchers note that further research is required to access blood pressure levels and circadian rhythms and biomarkers before stroke onset.
The study was published in the journal Stroke on April 28, 2017.