Perfect timing: Cardiologists meet in Chicago during May's National Stroke Awareness Month

CHICAGO--Just in time for National Stroke Awareness Month, more than a thousand leading interventional cardiologists will gather in Chicago for the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) 29th Annual Scientific Sessions, May 1013. It is a fitting convergence: Interventional cardiologists today have a wider array of tools than ever before to prevent and treat stroke, the leading cause of disability in the United States.

"It's tremendously exciting to be able to treat the diseases that cause devastating strokes--and to be able to treat them with small punctures in the skin, rather than major surgery," said Ted Feldman, MD, FSCAI, director of cardiac catheterization at Evanston Northwestern Healthcare in Evanston, IL, and program chair for the SCAI annual meeting.

Most strokes are like a heart attack that takes place in the brain. A blood clot blocks an artery, cutting off the supply of blood, oxygen, and nutrients to brain cells. In another type of stroke a blood vessel bursts, flooding an area of the brain with too much blood. In either case, brain cells begin to die. Depending on how large the stroke is and which part of the brain is damaged, a person may be left with minor weakness in an arm or leg, or may be paralyzed on one side of the body, or unable to speak.

Some 700,000 Americans suffer a stroke every year. Two out of three are left with some type of permanent disability. But there's good news, too: By some estimates, 80 percent of strokes can be prevented, and an increasing number of treatments are available for patients who have already suffered a stroke.

Interventional cardiologists are playing a central role in developing new treatments for stroke. Interventional cardiologists treat trouble spots in the heart and blood vessels with tiny balloons and expandable metal stents threaded through the body on the end of a slender tube called a catheter. Catheter treatments require only a small punctur

Contact: Kathy Boyd David
Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions

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