Innovative treatment safe and effective for patients with intracerebral hemorrhage

A new treatment that treats a subset of stroke patients by mixing minimally invasive surgery, an imaging method compared to “GPS for the brain,” and the clot-busting drug t-PA appears to be effective and safe, according to a multicenter medical trial led by Johns Hopkins researchers.

The novel treatment, detailed initially at this week’s European Stroke Conference in Hamburg, Germany, was developed for patients with intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), a bleed within the brain that creates a clot to form inside brain tissue. This clot increases pressure and leaches inflammatory chemicals that induce irreversible brain damage, often resulting in fatality or extreme disability. The typical treatments for ICH-either general supportive care including blood pressure control plus ventilation, which is regarded as the current standard of care, or invasive surgeries which entail taking off portions from the skull to remove the clot-have similar mortality rates, which range from 30 to 80 % depending on the dimensions of the clot.

Seeking to enhance these death rates and surviving ICH patients’ quality of life, Daniel Hanley, M.D., professor of neurology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and his fellow workers produced and analyzed the brand new treatment method on sixty individuals at 12 hospitals in the usa, Canada, the united kingdom as well as Germany. They compared their results to that from 11 individuals who received only supportive care.

After neurologists diagnosed individuals in the treatment group with ICH at these hospitals, operating specialists drilled dime-sized openings in patients’ skulls near to the clot area. Using high-tech neuro-navigational computer software that provides detailed brain images, the physicians threaded catheters through the holes and directly into the clots. They used these catheters to drip t-PA to the clot for about three days at 1 of 2 doses, either 0.3 mg or 1 mg, every 8 hrs.

The study discovered that clot size in patients given either dose shrunk by more than half, compared to only 1 percent in subjects who received only supportive care. Comparison of daily CT scans showed that patients in the treatment method group whose catheters were most accurately placed over the longest part of the clot had the very best clot size reduction.

Those in the treatment group and also the supportive care group had about a 10 percent mortality rate at 30 days after treatment, less than the typically high mortality rates expected with this condition. After pursuing the patients out for 6 months, the researchers found that the treated patients scored significantly greater over a test that calculates the ability to function in daily life in comparison to people who received supportive care.

All round, Hanley says, the new treatment method appears to be a viable and promising option to the current standard treatments of supportive care or invasive surgery.

Hormonal Link Key to Stroke Recovery

Researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy have shown the very first time the fact that high amounts of a bodily hormone that’s linked to the growth hormone system are associated with better long-term recovery throughout the later phases associated with treatment after having a stroke.

Insulin-like growth factor I, IGF-I, is known as a hormone which is found in the bloodstream as well as contributes to, amongst other things, growth and bone mass. The levels of this hormone tend to be greater in people who get some exercise regularly and people with very good overall health.

This study is interesting for 2 reasons. The first is that individuals demonstrate that a bodily hormone is associated with improved long-term recovery, and thus there is certainly still the chance of development – even after three months after the stroke. The second is that levels of this hormone are known to be raised in those who exercise frequently.

It is, nevertheless, vital that you include that the amount of IGF-I are controlled also by other factors for example other growth hormones, inheritance and also nutrition.

The study is founded on 407 individuals aged 18-70 years that are impacted by stroke are followed up for two years following the occurrence.

Researchers have measured the amount of IFG-I in these 407 patients and observed that increased levels are associated with far better recovery, once the level of recuperation has had some rehab..

The research happens to be presented within an article in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

Improve walking after stroke – devices and robotics help

A small study in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that walking therapy for stroke survivors is significantly more effective when conducted by a physical therapist instead of a robot.

It has been suggested by researchs that for a patient who has neurological damage affecting their legs, moving the legs in a way similar to walking on a treadmill can aid walking recovery.

Improve walking after stroke

Improve walking after stroke

It is common for physical therapists to assist post stroke patients that are too weak to support themselves by using a harness, putting them on a treadmill and helping them move as they would when walking. This can be demanding on the therapist, and robotic devices have been used instead to help alleviate the therapist.

Researchers used 48 stroke survivors who had a stroke 6 months earliers and still had difficulty walking because of hemiplegia. Patients were divided into robotic and traditional therapist assisted walking therapy. All patients received twelve 30 min therapy sessions over a 4-5 week period.

Tt was found both groups improved their walking ability, althought the improvements were greatest in the therapist assisted walking group. The walking speed and the amount of time spent on the weak leg were better improved in the therapist assisted group. Researchers concluded this may be due to physical therapists allowing for human error, while the robotic device restricted movement and minimized errors. It natural to make errors and learn from them with any physical activity and this vital aspect may have been removed with the assistance of the robot.

Robotic devices may be best used for acute stroke patients that have no ability to walk on their own, while those that can walk on their own, even very slowly may be best suited to therapy assisted training.

Fast acting New Stroke Medication, upon symptoms

The medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology has published a study that found people treated with the antibiotic minocycline within six to 24 hours after a stroke had significant fewer disabilities.

This is great news, as research welcome the alternative treatment which may allow a longer window of opportunity to treat acute stroke cases. Current treatments are only viable during the first few hours and this is usually not practical for people who do not get to the hospital in time.

New Stroke Medication fast acting

New Stroke Medication fast acting

The study used 152 people and gave them oral an oral dose of minocycline or placebo for five days post stroke. Researchers then followed both groups for a peroid of three months.

The study found the minocycline group had significantly better outcomes than the placebo group. At the three month period, the test group out performed the placebo group by four times on the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale, which uses vision, facial palsy, movement, and speaking abilitiy as indicators. The minocycline group had a score of 1.6 which is a level of little or no disability, compared ot a score of 6.5 for the placebo group, which places them in the high end of mild disability.

Researchers say the mechanism of improvement of minocycline is not due to it’s antibiotic effect, but rather its anti-inflammatory effect and protection on brain cells. Other studies have also demonstrated minocycline’s neuroprotective effects. And as an added bonus none of the participants experienced any serious side effects from the drugs.

New Findings Research help Stroke Treatment, Cures

Science is always pushing the boundaries as biologist, professors and scientists search for new and improved ways of helping stroke patients.

The methodology of reverse engineering has been applied in every field and helped find a cure for almost anything. In the computer world, this is how hackers break into systems, create better applications, solve computer problems and defeat malicious software like viruses and worms.

New Findings

New Findings

Vaccinations and antibiotics have benefited from this age-old approach. Now, it is being applied to stroke therapy. The advances in learning about how the brain and nervous system adapt to change make it an exciting time in stroke rehabilitation.

Exciting research at UC Irvine Medical Center by neurologist have shown hoe to restore damaged brain cells by reversing the symptoms of a stroke. A growth factor that triggers the nervous system to grow was discovered by the neurologist. This growth factor was applied to 15 stroke patients who made dramatic improvements even after 3 months of the test. The study is progressing through different phases of safe testing. There are still many years of clinical development to validate the safety and efficacy of this type of treatment. The novel therapy has been called Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor, this growth factor acts on nerve cells in the brain vital to learning, memory and higher thinking. It promotes the growth and connection of nerve cells to improve communication. This is vitally important in stroke rehabilitation where the brain is undergoing neuroplastic changes as it adapts to learning new activities.

Breakthroughs like this open the door for endless possibilities for stroke recovery. It shows the natural inherent ability of the brain to regenerate. We are learning to exploit the natural ability and power of the brain to make lives better, especially for stroke patients.