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RSNA: Portable Scanners Benefit Stroke Patients

Novel hand-training therapy using robotic device speeds rehabilitation in stroke survivors

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Significantly more acute stroke patients may be eligible for thrombolytic therapy at hospitals that have portable computed tomography (CT) scanners. Also, stroke survivors may benefit from therapy that uses a novel, hand-held robotic device and functional MRI, according to two studies presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America held Nov. 30 to Dec. 5 in Chicago.

In one study, A. Aria Tzika, Ph.D., of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, and colleagues assigned five right-hand dominant stroke survivors to squeeze a magnetic resonance-compatible robotic device for an hour a day, three times per week, for four weeks. They found that the therapy significantly increased cortical activity associated with right-hand movement, an effect that persisted for several months.

In the second study, David B. Weinreb, M.D., of the Hospital of Saint Raphael in New Haven, Conn., and colleagues found that the acquisition of a portable CT scanner reduced the amount of time between a physician order for a head CT and performance of the scan by 54 percent (from 34 to 15 minutes), and estimated that this time savings would increase the number of stroke patients able to be treated with thrombolytic therapy by 86 percent.

"A portable eight-slice CT can be easily added and used to accurately identify a head bleed in a stroke or trauma patient," Weinreb said in a statement. "This new technology is able to solve a very important problem for a community hospital, where the majority of stroke victims are being treated."

More Information - Tzika
More Information - Weinreb

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