ing and eating healthier can help open up the carotid arteries again. But when one or more carotid arteries is severely blocked, some sort of intervention is needed. Just like in the brain, there are minimally invasive and open-surgical procedures available to open up the blockage and keep it open.
The minimally invasive approach to treating carotid artery disease has helped many patients who cannot withstand surgery, reducing their risk of stroke. But it has not yet been proven to be better than open surgery (called an endarterectomy) in patients who are able to have surgery.
So, a new research trial being conducted at U-M and sites around the U.S. and Canada is trying to determine what advantages and disadvantages the two different treatments might have for patients who are candidates for either option. Called the CREST trial, it assigns patients to one or the other treatment randomly, and will track their progress for the next four years.
At U-M, the CREST trial involves interventional neuroradiologists like Gemmete, and surgeons from the Section of Vascular Surgery. Patients between the ages of 18 and 80 who have been diagnosed with carotid artery disease are now being enrolled. The study is being funded by the National Institutes of Health, to determine the answer to a question that will become increasingly important as more Americans grow older and experience a narrowing of their carotid arteries due to a lifetime of unhealthy eating, overweight, high blood pressure, smoking and/or diabetes.
Even as the newest technologies for minimally invasive brain treatment are tested and used in patients, new ones are on the horizon, says the U-M team. Emergency treatments delivered directly to the brain during a stroke, new devices and substances for blocked or weakened blood vessels, and better brain imaging are all emerging as potential tools for preventing strokes or reducing the devastating disability and high risk of dPage: 1 2 3 4 5 6 Related medicine news :1
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