Leading a normal life may be not be impossible for stroke victims in the near future, according to a research study that was published in The New England Journal of Medicine today. By taking out the blood clot out of the blood vessels, it might be possible to save brain tissues, allowing them to regain their normal function and permit victims to move around unaided. The research was done in the Netherlands and the news was met with much enthusiasm by the public.
The technique involves a revolutionary type of trap to capture the clots. It’s practically a stent with a wire mesh on the tip of a catheter. It’s inserted into femoral artery in the groin and is slowly directed by the doctor towards the clot in the brain. Upon reaching the clot area, the stent is opened and the catheter nudged forward to capture the clot. The doctor then pulls the catheter out together with the stent with the clot safely inside it.
“This is a game changer,” said Dr. Ralph L. Sacco, chairman of neurology at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine.
“A sea change,” said Dr. Joseph Broderick, director of the neuroscience institute at the University of Cincinnati.
Strokes due to blood clots have been victimizing around 630,000 Americans annually. Blood clots in large blood vessels are responsible for a third to a half of stroke victims. Strokes always bring very life shattering experience. Smaller clots can be easily dissolved by the tPA drug, but the drug doesn’t have much success with big clots and, until now, no cure has been found.
The research was carried out involving 500 patients suffering from stroke. tPA was administered to 90% of the patients and of out these, half were picked casually for a second dose. A doctor was assigned to extract the clot. There was no mention on how it was done. There are other methods for removing the clot, bit in this research most of clot extractions were conducted using the modern stent.
The results were as follows: for patients who underwent tPA medication, 1 of 5 of them returned to living an independent life. However, 1 out of 3 patients who went through blood clot extraction could already look after themselves. This is an excellent development for the patients.
An alternative may have been found to tPA treatment for stroke patients. Dr. Larry B. Goldstein, director of the Duke Stroke Center called it “a significant … improvement,”