To date, the most effective treatment is the clot-dissolving thrombolysis drug tissue plasminogen activator, tPA. But tPA is a far-from-perfect solution, says Andrew Barreto, a neurologist at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston. “IV-tPA will help about 30 of 100 patients who receive it within the first 4.5 hours after stroke symptom onset,” Barreto says. “But, many patients are still disabled, so we need better treatments.”
Barreto and some of his colleagues think that ultrasound could be one of those treatments. Ultrasound has been a valuable tool for diagnosing and tracking strokes in the brain for years. Now, a wide variety of new technologies are making it possible for neurosurgeons to use ultrasound waves, which travel at frequencies too high for the human ear to pick up, to not only identify the signs of stroke such as blood clots in the brain but also to help treat them.I was one of the fortunate who benefited from tPA - with minimal remaining effects of my stroke. It's great to hear that researchers are out there seeking more and better tools to battle strokes.