Recovery from stroke after six months actually isn't unusual, said Dr. Argye Beth Hillis, director of the neurology residency program at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "There are hundreds, if not thousands, of studies showing this," she said. "I have seen people improve with intensive rehabilitation 22 years after stroke."
Hillis added that it's difficult to know whether the device -- and not simple exercise -- was responsible for the improvements in the patients.
In another study released Wednesday at the Radiological Society of North America meeting, researchers reported that hospitals can significantly boost the number of stroke patients who get a crucial drug treatment, if they make portable CT (computed tomography) scanners available in hospital rooms.
The scanners allow doctors to more quickly diagnose whether a stroke patient is eligible to receive the drug known as tPA that dissolves blood clots in the brain.
According to the study authors, making a CT scanner immediately available could quicken diagnosis and improve by 86 percent the number of stroke patients who could be treated with tPA within the crucial three-hour window after a stroke.
Learn more about stroke from the U.S. National Institutes of Health.
SOURCES: A. Aria Tzika, Ph.D., director, NMR Surgical Laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital and Shriners Burn Institute, and assistant professor, Department of Surgery, Harvard Medical School, Boston; Argye Beth Hillis, M.D., professor, neurology and physical medicine and rehabilitation, executive vice chair, Department of Neurology, director, neurology residency program, and co-director, Cerebrovascula
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