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News

Stroke victims need treatment fast

Duke University Pratt School Of Engineering : 04 January, 2007  (Technical Article)
The
The ‘clot-busting’ drug known as tPA can help many stroke victims increase their chances for recovery, but only when given soon after a stroke. A leading stroke expert says there is currently a widespread lack of rapid access to the treatment.

For victims of stroke, every second counts. In the most common form of stroke, called ischemic stroke, a clot blocks normal blood flow to the brain. Dr. Larry Goldstein, director of the Duke Stroke Center, says a ‘clot-busting’ drug called tPA, or tissue plasminogen activator, can greatly improve chances for recovery from ischemic stroke, but only if it’s administered soon after symptoms appear. “The Food and Drug Administration has approved tPA for use within three hours of the onset of symptoms of stroke. So our time to be able to treat is very, very short.” Goldstein says only about three percent of stroke victims now receive tPA treatment. “We’re looking for ways to try and extend the treatment window. We’re also working towards putting systems into place to improve the chances of delivering this therapy to appropriate patients as well as other therapies for acute stroke treatment, not just tPA.” Goldstein adds that even with improved access to tPA and other promising treatments, the best thing to do is to make healthy lifestyle changes to prevent strokes from occurring in the first place. I’m Cabell Smith for MedMinute.
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