Today’s Headlines: Prehypertension, Migraine Headbands and Glucosamine

Slightly elevated blood pressure also tied to strokes: People with blood pressure readings above normal, but not high enough to be called high blood pressure, are still at increased risk of stroke, according to a new analysis. Researchers looked at the results from 19 different studies including 762,393 participants from around the world. “Researchers found that having so-called prehypertension was linked to a 66 percent increased risk of stroke.” Prehypertension is defined as any reading between 120/80 and 140/90. The study’s authors recommended that patients with prehypertension make efforts to alter their diet and exercise to bring down their blood pressure. (Reuters

FDA approves migraine treatment device: “The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday approved the first medical device used as a preventative to ward off migraine headaches, an electrical nerve stimulator used before the onset of pain.” The device, which is called Cefaly, is a battery-powered plastic headband that sits on the forehead and emits low electrical energy that “works on the nerve that transmits migraine pain, a branched structure known as the trigeminal nerve.” The stimulation “provides a kind of ‘counterirritant’ to the nerves and can forestall more serious pain.” The device is currently sold in Canada for about $300 and is expected to be offered in the U.S. for approximately the same price. (The Wall Street Journal)

Glucosamine: No cure for knee pain or deterioration, study says: “A daily glucosamine drink supplement failed to prevent deterioration of knee cartilage, reduce bone bruises or ease knee pain, according to a recent short-term study of the popular, if controversial, dietary product.” The study’s authors looked at the effects of glucosamine hydrochloride in 201 adults over a six month period, but scans, pain assessments and urinalysis readings showed no evidence that supplementation made any difference. “Glucosamine occurs naturally in humans and other animals, and helps to build cartilage, the tissue that cushions bones.” The supplement’s efficacy has been hotly debated in the past. (Los Angeles Times)