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Stroke prevention surgery less effective than meds, lifestyle change
Date:10/26/2013

chers at Washington University School of Medicine, the Medical University of South Carolina, Emory University and the State University of New York at Stony Brook, appears Oct. 26 in The Lancet. The same day, the researchers will present their findings at joint meetings of the 6th International Conference on Intracranial Atherosclerosis and the 6th annual meeting of the Society of Vascular and Interventional Neurology in Houston.

Each year in the United States, about 800,000 people have a stroke. Physicians think about 10 percent of those strokes result from a narrowed artery inside the brain. For decades, doctors have treated these patients with medications that help to prevent clots by thinning the blood and with drugs to lower cholesterol and blood pressure.

Recent advances in surgical techniques and tools have allowed physicians to improve blood flow in narrowed brain arteries by adapting procedures used to open clogged arteries in the heart.

To assess the effectiveness of the new treatments, the SAMMPRIS (Stenting and Aggressive Medical Management for Preventing Recurrent Stroke in Intracranial Stenosis) trial, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), enrolled 451 patients at high risk of having a repeated stroke. All participants had a brain artery with at least a 70 percent narrowing that had already caused a stroke or a transient ischemic event (often referred to as a mini stroke).

Participants were divided into two groups. In one group, each participant had a metal stent surgically inserted into the narrowed brain artery to open it up. Each also received strong medications to reduce clot formation and lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Participants in the second group received the same medications but did not receive stent implants. Both groups were contacted regularly by lifestyle modification coaches, who encouraged participants to exercise more, stop smoking, improve their diet and lose w
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Contact: Michael C. Purdy
purdym@wustl.edu
314-286-0122
Washington University School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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