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Stroke diagnosis improved with development of electronic headband

Published on 08/11/2011

Scientists have developed an electronic headband which could help doctors diagnose a stroke within five minutes, reducing the risk of brain damage from the condition.

Scientists at the University of Cincinnati in the US have teamed up with specialist company Ischiban Ltd to create the headband, which is able to distinguish between an ischaemic stroke and a haemorrhagic stroke.

An ischaemic stroke happens when a clot forms in an artery or vein in the brain and the supply of oxygen-rich blood cells to the area is affected. A haemorrhagic stroke is when an artery or vein bursts inside the skill and blood pours out into the brain.

Treatment of these two strokes is very different- clot-busting drugs are given to patients of an ischaemic stroke, and sufferers of a haemorrhagic stroke are given drugs to control brain swelling.

When a suspected stroke victim arrives at hospital they are given a brain scan to see what type of stroke has occurred. However, it can take several hours for a scan to be carried out and the results to become available, increasing the risk of brain damage in the wait.

‘Patients are more likely to make a better recovery if their stroke is treated quickly and as an emergency,’ says Dr Peter Coleman, deputy director of research at the charity the Stroke Association.

‘We welcome anything that could speed up and improve the accuracy of diagnosis and look forward to hearing more about this brain scanning device.’

The electronic headband uses a technique called impedance spectroscopy. When placed on the head and turned on, a mild current encircles the skill. If an ischaemic stroke has occurred, the current is ‘impended’ by the clot and flows less freely. If a haemorrhagic stroke has occurred, the current flows faster than normal because it passes through blood more easily.

These results are then fed to a laptop so doctors can see what type of stoke it is. Although the headband is still in the early stages of development, it has already been tested on a small group of healthy volunteers, and will soon be used in clinical trials.

If you are worried about the care you could receive after a stroke, compare health insurance policies online to guarantee treatment in a private ensuite room, in a hospital of your choice.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2011


Categories:  Medical
Stroke diagnosis improved with development of electronic headbandScientists have developed an electronic headband which could help doctors diagnose a stroke within five minutes, reducing the risk of brai    tweet it on twittershare with your friends on Facebookshare with your friends on MySpaceBlog it on your LinkedIn profile
 

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