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