Various Treatments Of Stroke

Various Treatments Of Stroke

Stroke or a “brain attack” is a serious medical condition that occurs suddenly when the brain cells stop functioning due to lack of oxygen. And that happens, when the functioning of an artery gets disrupted due to a blood clot or when a blood vessel suddenly ruptures, interrupting blood flow to an area of the brain. This leads to a condition wherein the brain is unable to perform all those functions that were earlier under its control. Those functions could include speech, movement or memory.

Stroke PatientThere are two types of stroke – ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke. The severity of a stroke depends upon the area of the attack and the extent of damages that occurs in the brain. Although most stroke victims are older, nearly one third is below the age of 50. Yet, despite its grim toll, stroke ranks low in the public’s awareness. The treatment of stroke constitutes a series of drugs and processes that involves reducing or dissolving the blood clots.


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Treatments Of Stroke

Emergency Medications Like Aspirin

“Mini strokes” usually lasting less than five minutes, virtually have all the symptoms of actual strokes and precede about ten percent of them. As such “mini stroke” or a Transient Ischemic attack is a dramatic advance warning that you may soon be headed for a full fledged stroke. Aspirin, which interferes with blood clotting, is the standard therapy. It is an anti thrombotic drug that is administered immediately after an ischemic attack to considerably diminish the possibility of another stroke.

AspirinIntravenous injection of tissue plasminogen activator (TPA) is beneficial for ischemic stroke patients. An injection of a recombinant TPA called alteplase must be given as soon as the patient displays symptoms of stroke, approximately within 4.5 hours. It works as a clot buster and the blood resumes circulation almost immediately. By dissolving the blood clot this drug ensures full recovery from stroke.

MERCI Retrieval System

A lot of research is going on to develop new intravenous clot busters that are more effective, safer and less time bound than TPA. When a patient is ineligible for TPA treatment, doctors use MERCI retrieval system. In this case clot busters are injected directly into the clots through long, thin tubes called catheters. The catheter is inserted into the femoral artery near the groin, and then threaded up into the brain so the drug can be aimed right at the clot to dissolve it. In this system once the blood clots are removed the flow of blood increases in the larger vessels of the brain.

MERCI Retrieval System

Balloon Angioplasty

In this treatment, a catheter travels to the point of blockage, and a balloon on the tip of the catheter is inflated to widen the artery. The surgeon then inserts a mesh tube or a stent to prevent the artery from narrowing. Recent reviews found that brain arteries that were treated with balloon angioplasty resumed blood flow in 83 percent of the cases.

Baloon angioplastyMetal Coil Treatment

Hemorrhagic strokes caused by rupturing aneurysms can be prevented by sealing the pouch with small “clothespins.” A better way to do it would be, to set down tiny metal coils into the aneurysm with the help of a catheter. Clots that form around the coils help block off the aneurysm thus, preventing it from rupturing.

Stereotactic Radiotherapy

Hemorrhagic strokes also occur from ruptures caused due to abnormal connections between arteries and veins. Stereotactic radiotherapy is generally used to remove these malformations. It is a three dimensional imaging system that precisely locates the potential source of hemorrhage, then a finely focused x-ray beam eliminates it.

Stereotactic Radiotherapy

Carotid Endarterectomy

Brain attacks also occur when plaque like fatty deposits accumulate within arteries leading to the brain. Carotid arteries supply oxygenated blood from the heart to the brain, and when they are blocked they account for roughly 10 percent of strokes all over the world. In a carotid endarterectomy, surgeons open up the damaged artery and take out the fatty material that block the carotid artery.

Carotid Endarterectomy

A stroke can be frightening; it either leaves you crippled or leads you to death. Therefore, if you experience the symptoms of stroke – seek emergency medical attention immediately.

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