Researchers have determined that aggressive treatment for a patient after a transient ischemic attack (TIA), more commonly know as “mini stroke”, may help to significantly reduce the risks of a major stroke that could lead to death.
The international team proved with their 5-year-study that the quicklier the patients get treatment after a TIA, which can show muscle weakness or slurred speech for a few seconds, the fewer chances they get of suffering for a significant stroke later.
“You should worry about symptoms even if they last for just a few seconds or a few minutes,” said lead author Dr. Pierre Amarenco of Bichat Hospital in Paris. The study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine and analyzed subjects from 21 countries.
For the study, the team recruited 4,789 patients from 61 hospitals outside the U.S., from this about 78 percent of them were treated within 24 hours of symptoms starting. Medical workers used the most aggressive care available to perform their therapies.
Researchers reported that after a year of the TIA, the chances of the subjects suffering from a cardiovascular event was 6.2 percent and the risk of a stroke was 5.1 percent. Even after 90 days, when the team thought that the chances of a stroke would be about around 12 percent, the participants showed only 3.7 percent risk.
Better and faster implementations
The TIAs are often a sign of a bigger problem on the way, it means that a potentially-deadly stroke can come within a matter of hours or days. The team made improvements in regular care and prevention, which were just offering treatment in a short amount of time and providing a combination of better preventive measures.
Researchers believed that the outcomes are due to this better and faster implementation of the prevention measures, although they did not have a comparison group in the study without the access to this drugs or procedures, as reported by UPI.
According to Dr. Ralph Sacco and Dr. Tatjana Rundek, both professors of neurology, epidemiology and public health at the University of Miami, stroke prevention and treatment have come a long way.
“This study should prompt health care providers and policymakers to make necessary changes in systems of stroke care in order to deliver the most effective care not only to patients with acute stroke, but also to those with a TIA or minor stroke,” they added.
Source: New England Journal of Medicine