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Scientists report that ultrasound scanning may be a potential new method to prevent strokes


Ultrasound scanning may be a potential new method to prevent strokes

A new study led by researchers at the University of Warwick and University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW), shows that one of the methods  to prevent stroke is based on the ultrasound scanning. Stroke is a medical emergency that can be  complicated with permanent neurological damage such as paralysis or loss of vision. It is a serious medical condition, but it is worth mentioning that  it can be prevented by lifestyle changes, such as low calorie diet and daily exercise. The study was published in the U.S. journal Stroke and was led by Professor Donald Singer ed, Professor of Therapeutics at Warwick Medical School and Professor Chris Imray from UHCW,

Stroke occurs when the blood flow in the brain is affected either by ischemia, which occurs when a blood vessel is blocked by a blood clot, by or bleeding, which occurs when a blood vessel starts to bleed and a hematoma forms. Stroke is associated with certain cardiovascular risk factors such as hypertension and atherosclerosis or diabetes. Atherosclerosis,  one of the main cardiovascular risks, means that artery walls thickens due to accumulation of fatty deposits. These small fatty deposits can be complicated by thrombosis and this can lead to blood vessel occlusion and ischemia of that region perfused blood vessel. Therefore, an important step in preventing stroke is  early identification of patients with cardiovascular disease.



The effects of stroke vary depending on the affected blood vessel in the brain. If it is affected an artery in the occipital lobe, the stroke can result in blindness or impairment of vision. If the affected area of the brain is that controls motor function, stroke can cause paralysis. Sequelae is often permanently.

One of the major risk factors for stroke is carotid artery disease, so researchers are focused on the detection of patients with this disease. Patients with carotid artery disease develop thrombi in small vessels in the neck, and these emboli can migrate and block one of the blood vessels in the brain. It seems that aspirin antiplatelet therapy based on these can not prevent all these small emboli.

The scanning process is designed to identify patients receiving antiplatelet therapy prior and yet developed these microemboli. In this way the researchers found that tirofiban is more effective than aspirin in preventing the formation of these microemboli. Tirofiban is a  glycoprotein IIb / IIIa inhibitor, like aspirin, and is used  especially in patients with unstable angina or myocardial infarction. The study showed that tirofiban may suppress microemboli that could not be prevented with aspirin. However, Professor Singer added that now studies are needed to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of this therapy.