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      HealthWACH: Bursting blood clots

      HealthWACH: Bursting blood clots

      COLUMBIA (WACH)

      A stroke may also be considered a brain attack that happens when a blood clot blocks an artery. This prevents blood flow from the heart to the body causing dead brain cells and brain damage. When a stroke occurs, the abilities that are controlled by that part of the brain are lost due to the damaged brain cells. Motor functions such as memory, movement, and speech are all affected from a stroke and recovery is questionable. Recovery depends on the patient and the motivation to get better, as well as the location of the brain where the stroke occurred.

      To prevent having a stroke, one might consider making a couple of lifestyle changes. Blood pressure, cigarette smoking, and alcohol are three main factors of how a stroke might occur. Cholesterol, diabetes, and weight can also be managed to be sure that you are not at risk. Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA), atrial fibrillation, and circulation are three conditions to be aware of when preventing a stroke. TIA is an incident that consists of stroke-like symptoms that last temporarily. 40 percent of individuals who experience TIA will have a stroke.

      The acronym F.A.S.T. was created to teach patients of potential stroke symptoms. ??F?? stands for face. If one side of the face is drooping while smiling, that could be a sign of stroke. ??A?? stands for arms; ask the person to raise their arms to see if one is also dropping. ??S?? is speech; ask the person to repeat a phrase and listen for slurring. ??T?? stands for time; use your time wisely if any of these signs occur and seek medical help.

      A new study from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine has found that, when delivered via ultrasound, the natural enzyme plasmin is more effective at dissolving stroke-causing clots than the standard of care, recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA). The delivery method involves trapping plasmin in bubble-like liposomes, delivering them to the clot intravenously and bursting it via ultrasound. ??That method is necessary,?? UC associate professor of emergency medicine George Shaw III, MD, PhD, was quoted as saying, ??because plasmin cannot be delivered through traditional methods. Intravenous delivery of rt-PA is designed to solve that problem by catalyzing the conversion of existing plasminogen inside the body to plasmin, which in turn degrades blood clots.?? In in-vitro study, Shaw and researchers enclosed plasmin and a gas bubble inside a liposome. Then, they delivered the liposome to a clot in an in-vitro lab clot model and dissolved it using ultrasound waves, thus delivering the plasmin enzyme to the clot. After 30 minutes, clots treated with plasmin showed significantly greater breakdown than clots treated with rt-PA