Hunt for ‘holy grail’ of stroke treatment

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Medical researchers are seeking the “holy grail” of stroke treatment in an attempt to break new ground for patients.

The Glasgow-based team hopes to extend the amount of time viable brain tissue, known as the penumbra, can be treated around the “dead” area after stroke.

Currently clinicians use clot-busting drugs in a treatment only licensed for use up to four-and-a-half hours after a stroke.

Dr Celestine Santosh, neuroradiologist at the Southern General Hospital, said: “This obviously has major limitations as one-third of all stroke patients don’t know the time of their onset of symptoms. However, research shows that the penumbra can stay viable up to 48 hours after a stroke

“Therefore accurately identifying the penumbra is really the holy grail in stroke.”