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Scottish doctors seek new stroke treatment

Tuesday 9th April 2013
Image: Lancet
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Doctors in Scotland have started campaigning for a new initiative that they hope will provide a breakthrough in the way in which those suffering from strokes are treated.

The new approach would aim to establish when the patient suffered from their attack.

A failure to establish the time of a stroke can be costly, as experts only have four-and-a-half hours to administer the treatment needed to avoid any further clotting.

But this new method, known as the Gold Technique, works by utilising MRI scans while the patient inhales oxygen. Doctors can then observe what is happening to the oxygen in the brain to establish how much of the brain tissue has died.

This tissue is known as penumbra tissue, which can stay alive in the brain for 48 hours, giving more time for treatment.

In charge of this approach is Dr Celestine Santosh, a nero-radiologist at Glasgow Southern General Hospital.

She said: "We realise this is a unique project which has the possibility to change the way we diagnose and treat stroke. If it works here, there are also other conditions we can begin to look at using this treatment for including cardiac and cancer."

Written by James Puckle

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