9 research breakthroughs that revolutionised stroke treatment

By Dr. Devender Singh
October 30, 2022, Updated on : Sun Oct 30 2022 05:30:54 GMT+0000
9 research breakthroughs that revolutionised stroke treatment
A stroke, often referred to as a transient ischemic attack or a cerebrovascular accident, is a condition where the blood supply to the brain is cut off.
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According to the Indian Stroke Association, the incidence of stroke has nearly tripled in India in the past 20 years. Stroke is becoming more common; it is currently the fourth leading cause of mortality and the fifth leading cause of disability in India.


A stroke, often referred to as a transient ischemic attack or a cerebrovascular accident, is a condition where the blood supply to the brain is cut off. As a result, the blood is unable to provide the brain with nutrition and oxygen. Within minutes after being deprived of oxygen and nutrients, brain cells begin to die.


Medical research is constantly progressing. There was no cure for some conditions until a few years ago; today, there is a complete cure. People have benefited greatly from modern technologies. Recent scientific advancements have resulted in a 50% reduction in stroke-related mortality.



The following advancements aid in the treatment of stroke:


  • Artificial Intelligence (AI): Early detection is crucial for prompt management to prevent death and morbidity following an acute stroke. AI can help in infarct or haemorrhage detection, segmentation, classification, significant vascular blockage detection, prognostication, and other aspects of the stroke therapy paradigm. Modern AI techniques, such as convolutional neural networks, in particular, carry the potential for doing these imaging-based tasks efficiently and accurately.


  • Endovascular Thrombectomy: This procedure helps to restore normal blood flow to the brain by performing a thrombectomy (a surgical procedure used to remove a blood clot from arteries and veins). During the treatment, a catheter is introduced into the brain to remove the clot that is causing the stroke. Image guidance is used during the process. Depending on the site, endovascular therapy must be performed within six to eight hours of the stroke's beginning. In just a few minutes, endovascular thrombectomy can restore blood flow.


  • Tenecteplase: It is an enzyme that is administered as a thrombolytic drug. It dramatically reduces the death rate when administered. Tenecteplase is being evaluated as a potential replacement thrombolytic medication for the treatment of acute ischemic stroke (AIS) in ongoing comprehensive clinical research.


  • Cone Beam Imaging: The imaging enables precise identification of tissue at risk, the ischemic core, and the occlusion site. Currently, it can take up to 60 minutes to move a patient from a CT scan to the operating room, delaying endovascular thrombectomy. The time between the start of stroke symptoms and treatment can be shortened by hospitals adopting this technology in the angio suite, which will considerably lessen brain damage and enhance patient outcomes.


  • Cerebrotech Visor: With a 92% accuracy rate, the Cerebrotech Visor gadget can identify emergent large-vessel blockage in suspected stroke patients. The technology employs low-energy radio waves to identify blockages and has been intended to identify stroke within seconds.


  • Vagus Nerve Stimulation: Vagus nerve stimulation entails the use of a device to provide electrical impulses to the vagus nerve. Several functions, including speech, peristalsis, perspiration, and heart rate are regulated by the long vagus nerve. Vagus nerve stimulation tends to excite the neurons that regulate muscle action. For people with wounded upper limbs, vagus nerve stimulation may more than quadruple the rate of healing.


  • Cerenovus aneurysm device: By redirecting blood flow away from an aneurysm, the device lowers the danger of rupture and a potential haemorrhagic stroke.


  • Umbilical cord blood (UCB) infusion: Umbilical cord blood is safe and effective for treating ischemic strokes when given as a single infusion. Mesenchymal stem cells, the progenitors of all human tissue cells and hence the cells most effective in the therapy of brain damage, are abundant in umbilical blood. Researchers hypothesised that umbilical cord blood would help stroke victims experience fresh neural activity.


  • Carotid endarterectomy: A surgical procedure under local anaesthesia is a very promising procedure. The patient remains awake so that they can be neurologically monitored. It is done to remove plaque, an accumulation of fatty deposits that causes a carotid artery to become narrowed. The primary blood vessels that carry blood to the neck, face, and brain are called the carotid arteries.


Endovascular intervention with mechanical cutting out has been shown to boost purposeful outcomes in chosen patients with severe stroke and huge artery occlusion within the anterior cerebral circulation.


Administration of r-tPA (a powerful clot buster) has been shown to be effective up to four.5 hours from symptom onset. Advances in technology have additionally led to light-emitting diodes being used as models of care to deliver r-tPA in a speedy and economical manner, whether or not through pre-hospital sorting via phone, r-tPA administration via telemedicine, or really administering r-tPA within the motorcar.


The introduction of advanced endovascular treatment (percutaneous mechanical cutting out, to dissolve and suck the blood clot) further distended this treatment window in chosen patients to up to seven hours from the onset of symptoms. These innovations have revolutionised acute cerebrovascular accident care from a malady with no treatments to one with multiple established choices.


Edited by Kanishk Singh

(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)

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