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International Stroke Conference Closes After More Than 1,300 Presentations: Links to Some of Best are Below

Five research reports today focus on care for stroke victims - links to these and more are below

Feb. 8, 2013 – The information-packed International Stroke Conference 2013 on the latest research in stroke care and prevention ended today with five presentations on new discoveries in better treatment for stroke victims. Below are links many of the top presentations are below.

This conference sponsored by the American Stroke Association is the world’s largest meeting dedicated to the science and treatment of cerebrovascular disease. This 2½-day conference featured more than 1,300 presentations that emphasize basic, clinical and translational sciences as they evolve toward a more complete understanding of stroke pathophysiology with the overall goal of developing more effective prevention and treatment.

Some of the top news:

Lower blood pressure targets safe in reducing risk of recurrent stroke

Study Highlights: Survivors of small-artery strokes who lowered their systolic blood pressure below 130 mm Hg were less likely to suffer a hemorrhagic stroke (bleeding in the brain) than those who lowered it to between 130 mm Hg and 149 mm Hg. There was no significant difference in the likelihood of clot-caused stroke with lower blood pressure. The lower blood pressure target was safe, though it did lead to more episodes of fainting.

Devices no better than medications in recovery from clot-caused strokes

Study Highlights: In the first comparison of mechanical clot retrieval to standard medical care, mechanical devices showed no benefit over medications. Imaging techniques to measure the amount of salvageable brain tissue didn’t help predict which patients might benefit from mechanical clot removal. For stroke patients, getting proven emergency treatment quickly is most important.

Delay in breaking up blood clots means worse stroke outcome

Study Highlights: In patients who had endovascular therapy added to intravenous clot-busting drugs to restore blood flow after a stroke within seven hours, every 30-minute delay in breaking up the blood clot causing a stroke was associated with a 10 percent decrease in the chances of a good outcome. Time proved to be a critical factor in minimizing brain damage from a stroke regardless of other important factors, including stroke severity and pre-stroke disability.

Adding clopidogrel to aspirin therapy reduces risk of second stroke

Study Highlights: Adding a second drug to aspirin therapy lowered the risk of a second stroke in the weeks after a clot caused minor stroke or TIA in Chinese patients. Patients who received clopidogrel in addition to aspirin were less likely than those on aspirin alone to have a stroke within three months of their first episode. Both drugs prevent platelets, a type of blood cell, from sticking together and forming clots, but no more bleeding occurred among those on dual therapy than in those on aspirin alone.

Carotid bypass surgery doesn’t help cognitive performance after stroke

Study Highlights: Surgery to improve blood flow to the brain does not reverse cognitive problems associated with low blood flow in patients who have experienced a stroke or mini-stroke. Although cognitive problems were worse in those with poorer blood flow, patients who received medical treatment plus cranial bypass surgery did no better than those who received medical treatment for diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure alone. New approaches are needed to treat this potentially reversible condition.




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