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The Treatment of Stroke - Oren Zarif - Treatment of Stroke

There are many options for the treatment of stroke. Physical therapists can help patients learn to use mobility devices to increase strength and control in the arm or leg that has been affected by stroke. Some of these options include orthoses, prostheses, canes, wheelchairs, and robotics. In addition to therapy, these options involve electrical stimulation and small electrical pulses to stimulate nerves to improve movement and control of affected limbs.

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If the stroke victim arrives at the emergency room, a CT scan will be used to check for any damage to the brain. Medications to reduce blood clots can be used to help the patient regain their independence. If the stroke victim reaches the emergency room in time, they may be given a clot-busting medication called tPA. The tPA medication must be administered to the patient within 4.5 hours of developing symptoms.

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If the stroke patient has a large artery blockage or has not responded to thrombolysis, he or she may be prescribed an antiplatelet drug. This medication is taken twice daily and can cause diarrhea, stomach upset, and headaches. Another option is a mechanical thrombectomy, which involves inserting a catheter into the blocked artery and removing the blood clot. This treatment can be life-saving, and reduce long-term disability caused by stroke.

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Thrombolytic therapy, mechanical thrombectomy, and surgery are the main treatments for acute stroke. These treatments require that the patient receives care in a stroke-specific hospital. Such a hospital can coordinate emergency services, rapid consultation with a neurologist, and intensive care. Additionally, the hospital will coordinate vascular imaging, brain imaging, and intensive care services. In thrombolytic therapy, a medicine called alteplase is injected into the vein. The tPA breaks up blood clots in the brain and restores blood flow. However, it is important to know that this treatment is not for everyone.

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Neurosurgeons also provide treatment for stroke victims. Neurosurgeons use surgical techniques to remove blood or stop the bleeding. In some cases, patients are required to undergo emergency surgery to repair burst blood vessels or remove blood from the brain. Emergency surgery is known as craniotomy, in which a section of the skull is removed in order to gain access to the source of bleeding. The goal of all stroke treatments is to improve the quality of life for the patient.

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Ultrasound and heart tests can also be used to determine the underlying cause of a stroke. A CT scan of the carotid arteries, or the carotid artery, can show if the blood clots have already reached the brain. Various medications are used for this purpose. A cardiologist may perform an electrocardiogram or an echocardiogram. The tPA medication dissolves the blood clot and has to be given to the patient within four hours of onset of the stroke symptoms.

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If a patient has suffered an ischemic stroke, a recombinant tissue plasminogen activator, also called rt-PA, is an approved medicine. It helps re-open arteries by dissolving the blood clot. It also improves blood flow and helps patients recover more fully. However, there is a downside to this drug, as it causes bleeding in the brain. The drug is effective but has a limited shelf life.

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Future clinical trials of these drugs should aim to characterize stroke recovery and clinical outcomes. Patients should be enrolled for a minimum of two weeks after their stroke. The study should use a multicenter platform and global scale criteria for data analysis. Secondary measurements should include day-to-day recovery, rehabilitation duration, and compounding factors. The goal should be to improve neurological outcomes while reducing disability. And remember, time is money. If we find a drug that helps in reducing disability, it's worth trying.

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After the symptoms are recognized, it is time to decide on the course of treatment. If the patient doesn't respond to the treatment, they could face serious complications. Fortunately, there are treatment options for ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke. The early treatment of stroke is critical, and the sooner it is sought, the better. It's not an easy decision to make, but fast action can make a huge difference.

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The best way to begin the treatment of stroke is by recognizing when you're having a transient ischemic attack (TIA). This condition is often a precursor to a full-blown stroke and should be treated as soon as possible. If left untreated, a stroke victim can sustain permanent damage to their brain. If the symptoms go untreated, the patient could even suffer permanent disability. But if a stroke is detected and treated early, the outcome is better.

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