Health Checkup
1:00 am
Mon October 15, 2012

New Device Aids Stroke Treatment

Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death and the leading cause of disability in the U.S. The drug tPA has been pretty effective at dissolving blood clots that can lead to stroke. But that's only if given within three hours and if the clot isn’t large. The Food and Drug Administration this year approved two mechanical devices doctors can use beyond the three hour window to remove large clots from the brain. In a KERA Health Checkup, Dr. Robin Novakovic of UT Southwestern Medical Center talks about retrievable stents.

http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/new-device-to-remove-stroke-causing-237678.aspx

Signs of acute stroke:

Painless onset of weakness of one side of the body – face, arm and leg

Sensory loss

Difficulty finding words or understanding speech

Slurred speech

Dizziness or vertigo

Difficulty with vision or controlling eye movement

Nausea

Major risk factors for stroke:

High blood pressure

Elevated cholesterol

Diabetes

Smoking

Obesity

Inactivity (lack of exercise)

Abnormal heart rhythms

To Prevent Stroke:

Control blood pressure, keep below 140/90

HDL (Bad) cholesterol level below 100, sometimes 70

Keep diabetes under control

Weight reduction

30 to 60 minutes of moderate aerobic activity five to seven days a week.

Anti-platelets agents (like aspirin or Plavix)

For more information:

Mayo Clinic on Stroke

Food and Drug Administration

National Heart Lung and Blood Institute on Stents

UT Southwestern Medical Center