Our expert says:
Atrial septal aneurysms to my knowledge are not hereditary, and of course we should bear in mind that they are rare causes of stroke. Most strokes, especially strokes which occur later in life, are due to vascular disease or atrial fibrillation, so it would be worth trying to establish the cause of your mother’s and your grandmother’s strokes.
Small holes in the heart (“patent foramen ovale”) and atrial septal aneurysms cause no chronic symptoms whatsoever, and their importance is only in relation to the small risk that they may cause stroke.
There is a considerable body of evidence that Omega 3 fatty acids help to protect the health of arteries, eg the coronary arteries and the cerebral arteries. However, there is no evidence that I know of that very high doses of Omega 3 fatty acids are any more protective than standard doses.
We should also bear in mind that people at low risk for vascular disease, eg young women, are hardly likely to benefit from treatments such as Omega 3 fatty acids because their risk is low anyway. If I was young and female, didn’t smoke, had a normal blood pressure and was physically active, I would save my money!
Best wishes, JT.
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