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Stroke news tips for Friday, Feb. 6, 2004

me of stroke onset couldn't be determined in 50 percent of patients. Researchers calculated that faster emergency responses and "perfect" in-hospital care could have raised treatment rates to 9 percent. But if all patients with known onset times had called 9-1-1 immediately, they said the rate of intervention within three hours would have increased from 6 percent to 20 percent.

Also see Abstract #P345 (4 p.m. Friday) on the Ohio Prototype of the Paul Coverdell Acute Stroke Registry. This report found no racial differences in average times from stroke symptom onset to hospital arrival, but a need for better documentation of symptom onset times. EMS use was associated with faster arrivals for acute stroke patients.

4 p.m. Abstract P209 Statins show promise for improving outcomes for acute ischemic stroke. Known for their ability to lower cholesterol and reduce heart attack risk, the drugs called statins in a small study appear to effectively improve neurological outcome after ischemic stroke. In the MISTICS trial, Spanish investigators conducted a pilot, double-blind, randomized trial on the safety and efficacy of the statin drug simvastatin in the acute phase of ischemic stroke. Of 56 patients (average age 73), 46.4 percent who got the statin drug showed significant neurological improvement by the third day, compared to 17.9 percent of those getting a placebo. Ten statin patients showed "great improvement" after 90 days in scores assessing their neurological function compared to three placebo patients. "Treatment with statins initiated in the acute phase of ischemic stroke may improve neurological outcome," the researchers reported. But they said an observed trend toward increased infections needs further study.

4 p.m. Abstract P210 Oxygen therapy may be safe, boost neurological function after stroke. Pure oxygen administered within the first 12 hours after stroke symptom onset is safe and staves off brai
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Contact: Carole Bullock
carole.bullock@heart.org
214-706-1279
American Heart Association
6-Feb-2004


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6. Stroke treatment window stays open longer than thought, say Stanford researchers
7. Stroke news tips for Saturday, Feb. 7, 2004
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