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Each year, nearly 800,000 people in the U.S. experience a stroke, and almost 90 percent of those are ischemic strokes in which a clot cuts off blood flow to part of the brain. To prevent further injury, blood flow to the brain must be restored as quickly as possible. In a new study, researchers show that non-invasive optical sensors can provide clinicians with real-time feedback on whether clot busting treatments are restoring blood flow. The technique, which monitors blood flow and oxygen levels in the brain, could also reveal early warnings signs of neurological complications after a stroke.
"We hope that providing individualized management of stroke patients with novel optical monitoring systems such as the one we developed will improve the chances of recovery and, consequently, reduce the direct health care and socio-economic burden of this prevalent condition," said research team leader Raquel Delgado-Mederos of the Stroke Unit at the Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau, Spain.
Optical - Society - OSA - Journal - Biomedical
In The Optical Society (OSA) journal Biomedical Optics Express, the researchers report on field tests of their new compact and user-friendly optical sensing system, which is designed for clinical use in hospital emergency departments. They demonstrated their system by using it at the bedside of stroke patients to detect, in real-time, the effectiveness of a clot-busting drug in improving blood flow to the brain.
"The potential impact of this new approach is quite significant since stroke is a leading cause of long-term disability in adults worldwide," said Delgado-Mederos. "The efficacy of the treatment depends on achieving a rapid restoration of blood flow to the affected part of the brain."
Clinicians - Blood - Flow - Brain - Measurements
Currently, most clinicians assess blood flow in the brain using measurements taken at single time points with magnetic resonance or computed tomography. These measurements are usually performed at the time of emergency department admission to help...
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