Kidney Disease and Stroke Prevention

Neuralert is a breakthrough in stroke detection. Founded by doctors, we are dedicated to ending the devastation caused by in-hospital strokes. The connection between kidney (renal) disease and stroke is well established. Many studies have demonstrated that the presence of protein in the urine (proteinuria or albuminuria), which is a symptom of kidney damage, increases the risk of stroke by 71-92%, and a reduced glomerular filtration rate (kidneys filtering waste) increases the risk of stroke by 43%.

The risk of stroke is 5-30 times higher in patients with chronic kidney disease, especially those on dialysis. Other stroke risk factors such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease damage the kidneys and are therefore often comorbidities with chronic kidney disease (CKD). Patients with multiple risk factors for stroke naturally have a higher risk. It is therefore critical to consider co-morbidities and other conditions that increase risk, such as malnutrition, inflammation, anemia, and arteriosclerosis, as well as phosphate imbalance and other vitamin, mineral, and electrolyte imbalances common among those with kidney disease.

Stroke victims with CKD who are in-hospital when the stroke occurs have shockingly higher fatality rates than those without CKD, at nearly 90%. Given the tremendous risk of stroke for patients with kidney disease, especially those undergoing dialysis or who are in the hospital for other treatments, significant steps must be taken to provide 24/7 surveillance to watch for stroke symptoms. We developed the Neuralert Stroke Detection System to provide that constant monitoring, sending an alert to hospital staff at the first sign of possible stroke.

Recent studies have shown that up to 17% of all strokes in the United States occur in patients who are hospitalized for other reasons, and that half of all in-hospital strokes are not identified for more than 4 hours after onset. For CKD patients with comorbidities, this delay could be fatal. In fact, studies suggest that those with CKD have significantly higher in-hospital mortality (odds ratio 1.55) and poorer functionality (odds ratio 1.38) than in-hospital stroke victims who did not have CKD. These patients also had longer hospitalizations and accrued higher costs.

Development of protocols and education must continue in order to improve outcomes for patients. But this alone will not solve the problem of delayed detection because staff hours are limited. Technology that accurately detects the first signs of stroke while keeping false alarms to an absolute minimum would help medical staff provide the very best of care to patients, decrease mortality, and reduce length of stay.

Neuralert Technologies combines a unique, non-invasive wristband technology with a state-of-the-art patented algorithm developed by the University of Pennsylvania to detect asymmetry in arm movement, one of the initial indications of stroke onset. The algorithm mathematically models out other causes of asymmetry, such as hand dominance, eating, speaking on the phone, and an IV in the arm, thereby detecting only true anomalies in asymmetric patterns. Neuralert then immediately alerts hospital staff to assess the patient and initiate necessary treatment.