Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Hundreds of strokes avoidable

Hundreds of strokes could be prevented each year if patients suffering ‘mini strokes’, known as transient ischaemic attacks or TIAs, were assessed sooner by specialist clinicians.

A University of Manchester study has found that almost two-thirds of patients attending what are termed ‘rapid access’ TIA clinics took more than the recommended seven days to be seen by a suitably trained professional.

A TIA, often characterised by a temporary weakening of one side of the face and the corresponding arm, drastically increases a person’s chance of suffering a major stroke within days of the initial symptoms, with some studies putting the risk as high as a one-in-four probability.

Despite the obvious importance of early assessment, the research – published today (Thursday) ahead of print in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry – suggests that, on average, access to the specialist clinics takes at least twice as long as it should.

“Current UK guidelines recommend that all people who have had a TIA should be assessed by a specialist within seven days of the start of symptoms,” said Dr Craig Smith, from the University’s clinical neuroscience group which coordinated the research.

“Our findings suggest that this standard is not being met and, in reality, TIA patients should ideally be assessed for risk of further stroke within a couple of days, if not on the same day as the initial symptoms.”

Dr Smith and the research team studied 711 people who had sustained a TIA or minor stroke, on average, 15 days earlier and who were seen at five centres in Liverpool and Manchester in the North West of England.

A scoring system (ABCD2), which has been used to assess stroke risk very early after TIA, was also able to detect risk of stroke despite the delays in presentation to specialist assessment.

Every patient was monitored for three months to check their risk of recurrent TIA, stroke, heart attack, or death. Of the 711 patients monitored, 25 went on to have a major stroke while 100 had at least one further TIA during the follow-up period. Three people died.

“This rate of stroke was relatively low due to the delay in being able to assess the patients after their initial TIA,” said Dr Smith. “Some studies have put the number of people suffering a major stroke within a week of a TIA as high as 10%, which suggests even the seven-day guideline figure may be inadequate.”

The delay in TIA patients being assessed by a stroke specialist is due to a number of reasons, including the patients themselves not realising the potential serious nature of the attack. Initial symptoms are temporary, lasting a matter of minutes or hours before the face, arm and, sometimes, leg return to normal, so patients often feel well by the time they are seen by a clinician.

Dr Smith added: ”Our findings suggest that current provision of TIA services, where delayed presentation to ‘rapid access’ TIA clinics is common, does not appear to provide an appropriate setting for urgent evaluation or timely secondary prevention in those who may be at the highest risk of stroke.

“If the speed with which TIA patients can be evaluated is improved many strokes in the UK each year could be prevented.”

Aeron Haworth | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

The gene of autumn colours

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Polymer scaffolds build a better pill to swallow

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Greater Range and Longer Lifetime

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>