This is the VOA Special English Health Report.
are a major cause of death and disability. A stroke is a loss of blood flow in
the brain. There are two kinds: An ischemic stroke happens when a blood vessel
in the brain gets blocked. A hemorrhagic, or bleeding, stroke happens when a
blood vessel breaks.
are more likely to die from a bleeding stroke. But ischemic strokes are more
common, and doctors may be able to treat them.
drug called tPA can break up blood clots. But traditional guidelines say not to
use tPA if more than three hours have passed after the first signs of a stroke.
There is a risk that giving a patient a strong blood
thinner during a stroke can cause bleeding inside the brain. The longer the
wait, experts say, the more likely that the risks of treatment will outweigh
recent findings have suggested that tPA may be effective in saving brain tissue
even if three to four and a half hours have passed.
studies have failed to produce clear evidence to support treatment after three
hours. But scientists reported that the evidence was stronger when they
combined the results of the four major studies done so far. The new findings
appeared in the journal Stroke.
researchers said tPA improved the chances of a successful result by thirty-one
percent and produced no change in the death rate.
Lansberg at the Stanford University medical school in California worked with
scientists from Belgium and Germany. One of them worked for a company that
makes tPA for use in Europe. The United States National Institutes of Health
paid for the study.
you think someone is having a stroke, you should seek help immediately. The
warning signs usually appear suddenly. These include trouble walking, weakness
especially on one side of the body, difficulty seeing and difficulty speaking.
people who seem healthy can suffer a stroke without even knowing it. A study
published in Stroke last year involved about two thousand people with an average
age of sixty-two. Brain imaging showed that nearly eleven percent of them had
suffered what is known as a silent stroke.
researchers reported a link between silent strokes and a condition called
atrial fibrillation. This is the most common cause of abnormal heartbeat in
older adults. Other risk factors for a silent stroke are high blood pressure,
heart disease, diabetes and tobacco use.
And that's the VOA Special English
Health Report. For more health news, go to voaspecialenglish.com. I'm Steve