Diagnosis and Treatment
Stroke damage begins immediately and can continue for days afterward if it is not treated. When a stroke happens, some brain cells die immediately, while others in the area are in danger of dying.
The good news is that there is a new drug available that can reverse the course of a stroke if it is given within a few hours. The new drug rt-PA is used to treat the most common kind of stroke, ischemic stroke. It can save the brain cells that are in danger of dying. It cannot be used to treat hemorrhagic stroke, however, since it would only make it worse.
Since the window of opportunity for treatment is so small, it is important to learn to recognize the signs of stroke, and seek treatment immediately.
Medication is the most common treatment for stroke. The most popular classes of drugs used to prevent or treat stroke are antithrombotics (antiplatelet agents and anticoagulants), thrombolytics, and neuroprotective agents. Your doctor will determine which drug is most effective for your condition.
Surgery can be used to prevent stroke, to treat acute stroke, or to repair damage to the blood vessels in and around the brain. There are two prominent types of surgery for stroke prevention and treatment: carotid endarterectomy and extracranial/intracranial (EC/IC) bypass.
Last updated: 23-Feb-07