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Window of opportunity to treat some stroke patients may be longer than originally suspected
Date:9/27/2011

Stroke victims may have a longer window of opportunity to receive treatment to save their brain cells, demonstrates a literature review published by University of Alberta medical researchers in Lancet Neurology.

The review, which was published online last week, was written by Ashfaq Shuaib and his colleagues. Shuaib, the senior author, is a researcher in the Division of Neurology with the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta. He is also a practising neurologist and a stroke specialist.

Literature reviews, which bring together large amounts of information from numerous studies, is one form of clinical research often referred to as health-outcomes research. This kind of "translational" work is valuable, since it synthesizes knowledge that lab researchers know and analyzes it for practising physicians so they can provide better patient care. The Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry has special expertise in conducting sophisticated health-outcomes research taking knowledge "from bench to bedside."

Shuaib reviewed stroke studies that examined the use of imaging to measure blood flow in the brain after a stroke. The literature was written from 1980 to July 2011. His review notes that using advanced neuroimaging, such as multi-dimensional brain CT scans and MRIs, can provide physicians important information about blood flow in the brain following a stroke. This information could enable doctors to provide better treatment to prevent brain cells from dying, through the use of techniques to increase blood flow in the brain.

The review noted that the presence of good "collateral" blood flow in the brain can "sustain brain tissue for hours" after major arteries to the brain have been affected by a stroke, and this flow could potentially offset injury to the brain. Enhancing or maintaining strong blood flow is a potential therapeutic treatment for stroke; it is currently under investigation in several stroke ce
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Contact: Raquel Maurier
raquel.maurier@ualberta.ca
780-492-5986
University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry
Source:Eurekalert

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