Portion of CT scan of a brain that has experienced acute ischemic stroke
A Spanish research team has recently found that giving uric acid (UA) with intravenous thrombolytic therapy (tPA) to patients with acute ischemic stroke could help improve outcomes, particularly in women. Emergency Medicine Physician Dr. William J. Meurer talked with us about the study and its implications for stroke treatment and research.
Do the results of the Spanish study mean that hospitals will start supplementing clot-busting tPA with uric acid (UA) when they treat ischemic stroke patients?
No. The main trial didn’t find UA to work when given to everyone. The Spanish researchers have generated an interesting hypothesis by observing that it worked in women. There is not strong enough evidence yet to change practice, but it’s an interesting area for future research.
Stroke is now the fourth leading cause of death and the leading cause of disability in the United States. Because stroke is so prevalent, we all need to know about this harmful disease. We asked stroke neurologist Eric E. Adelman, M.D., to tell us more.
F.A.S.T. is an easy way to remember the signs of stroke. When you spot the signs, you’ll know you need to call 9-1-1 for help right away. F.A.S.T. stands for:
Face. Does the face look uneven?
Arm. Does one arm drift down?
Speech. Does the person’s speech sound strange?
Time. It’s time to call 9-1-1.
Why is it so important to get help quickly?
The time that passes between the first onset of symptoms and the administration of clot-dissolving treatment called tPA can make a difference in how well a person’s brain, arms, legs, speech or thinking ability recover. TPA stands for tissue plasminogen activator.
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