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Developments Offer Hope to Ischemic Stroke Patients

Authors cite improvements in acute stroke centers, potential of emerging therapies

TUESDAY, July 28 (HealthDay News) -- Current and emerging therapies for acute ischemic stroke have the potential to significantly improve patient outcomes, according to an article published in the inaugural July issue of the Journal of NeuroInterventional Surgery.

Roberta Novakovic, M.D., of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, and colleagues cite the value of organized stroke care and primary stroke centers, which offer administration of recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA) and newer interventional methods, and point out the reasons why only approximately 3 to 8.5 percent of eligible patients receive rt-PA treatment. They also point out that progress in emerging acute ischemic therapies has been hampered by the heterogeneity of stroke and the limitation of narrow treatment windows.

The authors also write that the development of acute stroke centers and systems of care is a huge benefit for stroke patients and has improved outcomes. In addition, focusing clinical resources in stroke units and neurocritical units improves specialist care, enhances providers' knowledge, and helps facilitate clinical trial enrollment and data collection.

"Ideally, these measures will optimize patient access to the best of current medical and endovascular therapies," Novakovic and colleagues conclude. "In the foreseeable future, a combination of bridging therapies and recanalization strategies may evolve for therapeutic approaches for acute ischemic stroke. Furthermore, with the integration of safe extended treatment windows for acute ischemic stroke therapies in patients with salvageable penumbra, the future may hold better neurological outcomes for patients with stroke."

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