Researchers working to predict stroke patients’ recovery potential

Author: Amy Oshier Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Published: Updated:

Every 40 seconds, someone in the U.S. has a stroke; without quick medical attention, that person can be killed or permanently disabled. But researchers are testing a new screening method that may predict a patient’s motor function recovery.

Strokes are sometimes called “brain attacks.” In them, an artery in the brain becomes blocked, or a blood vessel bursts, causing bleeding in the brain. The faster doctors can treat a stroke, the better a patient’s chance of recovery.

University of Cincinnati Neurologist Pooja Khatri and neuroradiologist Achala Vagal are leading the Verify trial for stroke patients. They’ll use two biomarkers to assess the chance of recovery.

“Our preliminary studies suggest that they’re very good at predicting who will recover their strength, particularly, specifically in their arm,” Khatri said.

Researchers will use transcranial magnetic stimulation in their tests.

“We’re seeing if the hand moves, and we’re actually measuring the impulse of the muscle,” Khatri said. “So, to see if we’re even seeing tiny muscle movements that tell us that the brain is successfully talking to the hand.”

Researchers will also use MRI to screen a patient’s brain for lesions. Scientists want to determine how much of a blockage there is in the pathway between the brain and limbs.

“What we are really interested in is understanding where is the stroke or that dead brain tissue,” Khatri said.

In this way, they will learn how to harness the power of the brain to recover bodily functions after a stroke.

The researchers say patients will be recruited while they are still in the hospital, between 48 and 96 hours after their strokes. More than 650 patients are being enrolled at 30 hospital sites across the country.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.