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Major Advance in Stroke Treatment

Nearly 800,000 Americans each year suffer from strokes. According to the american heart Association, strokes are the fourth-leading cause of death and a major source of disabilities among adults.

Time is of the essence in stroke treatment. A recent one-year study conducted by UCLA researchers showed that those who suffered strokes had a roughly 80 percent chance of a successful outcome- able to live independently within three months, when treated within four hours of the onset of symptoms. The percentage drops significantly beyond four hours.

For the past 20+ years, the first-line therapy for strokes has been an injection of tPA (tissue plasminogen activator)*, a blood thinning medication. It is very effective on small blood clots but frequently fails to break up larger ones. However, a new therapy is proving to be a game changer.

Stent retriever therapy* can remove clots more quickly, including larger ones that are problematic for tPA, improving a patients outlook. The only drawback associated with stent retriever therapy is that not enough medical centers offer it yet.

Stroke symptoms include a drooping of one side of the face, sudden numbness or weakness in any part of the body, blurry vision, severe headaches, and slurred speech, among others. Don't delay in calling 9-1-1 time lost equals brain lost!

*Tissue plasminogen activator is a protein involved in the breakdown of blood clots. It is a serine protease (enzymes that cleave peptide bonds in proteins) found on endothelial cells, which are cells that line the blood vessels. 
*A stent retriever helps remove blood clots in the brain. The retriever is guided toward the blood clot through a major artery, and the end of the device traps the clot

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