Scots doctor's discovery brings stroke patients hope of relief
A SCOTTISH doctor has accidentally found a remarkable treatment to ease the crippling effects of a stroke.
Dr Paul Syme stumbled across the technique during routine examinations of stroke victims at Borders General Hospital in Melrose.
He realised that ultrasound equipment used to pinpoint strokes could also help patients make a recovery.
Dr Syme has used the technique, which sends sound waves through the body, to ease the symptoms of nearly 100 patients.
He is now confident it could help tens of thousands of sufferers in Scotland alone.
Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland’s Guinea Pigs programme, Dr Syme said: "This is a very exciting discovery, because we are encouraging the body to heal itself."
He obtained an ultrasound machine, called a transcranial doppler, to help him locate the source of strokes. To his surprise, the devastating physical symptoms appeared to improve while patients used the machine and the effects lasted long enough to allow sufferers to lead more normal lives again.
Dr Syme said he did not yet know how the device, which is used in hospitals all over the world, had this effect.
He said: "I thought, this can’t be happening through ultrasound. But by careful analysis of the signal I realised it had to be altering the blood vessel clot and this was associated with recovery."
So far around 100 patients have had successful treatment and now Dr Syme has two experts on strokes to help with clinical trials.
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