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Study shows how 'time is brain' when it comes to strokes

Back in April, our blog reported on a study published in the medical journal JAMA, which held that time is of the essence when it comes to stroke treatment.

In recent developments, another study has been published that essentially confirms this conclusion, verifying that "time is brain" when it comes to strokes and the administration of a certain clot-busting drug.

Published in the latest edition of The Lancet and performed by researchers at Oxford, the study concluded that those patients who suffer what are known as ischemic strokes, meaning those caused by blood clots, see significantly lower degrees of disability the faster they are administered tissue plasminogen activator -- otherwise known as tPA or alteplase.

As part of the study, the researchers examined data gathered on over 6,700 stroke patients who agreed to participate in nine different clinical trials centered on the use of alteplase.

After examining the data, the researchers determined the following:

  • Patients who were administered alteplase within three hours of showing initial stroke signs were 75 percent more likely to see good outcomes -- those resulting in no significant disability in the three to six months after the stroke -- versus those patients who were administered no alteplase.
  • Patients who were administered alteplase within four-and-a-half hours of showing initial stroke signs were 26 percent more likely to see good outcomes.
  • Patients who were administered alteplase within four to five hours of showing initial stroke signs were 15 percent more likely to see good outcomes.
  • Patients across all groups, including those who suffered severe strokes and those 80-plus years in age, benefited from rapid administration of alteplase.

The publication of yet another study highlighting the importance of early intervention in stroke treatment has been welcomed with open arms by the global medical community.

"The information is very significant because it helps support our concept of 'time is brain' by showing that faster treatment times do result in better outcomes for patients," said one U.S.-based physician.

It's important for those individuals left with severe disabilities after a stroke -- despite the best efforts of medical professionals -- to understand that they are not without options and that an experienced and compassionate legal professional can help them pursue much-needed Social Security disability benefits.

Source: HealthDay, "Speedy delivery of clot-busting drug helps stroke patients avoid disability," Aug. 6, 2014

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