Scientists in Sweden, from Chalmers University of Technology, Sahlgrenska Academy and Sahlgrenska University Hospital, are developing a wearable cap to diagnose whether a clot or a bleed has happened in the brain of someone who has had a stroke.
Knowing which is important, because in strokes where a clot has blocked the blood supply (known as ischaemic stroke), clot-busting drugs can be administered. The sooner they are, the more effective they are, and the less damage done to the person. However, if there has been a bleed (a haemorrhagic stroke), clot-busting drugs would be devastating, by increasing the bleeding already present.
Dr Shamim Quadir, of the UK's Stroke Association, said: "When a stroke strikes, the brain is starved of oxygen, and brain cells in the affected area die. Diagnosing and treating stroke as quickly as possible is crucial.
"While this research is at an early stage, it suggests that microwave-based systems may become a portable, affordable, technology that could help rapidly identify the type of stroke a patient has had, and get them treated faster.
"By diagnosing and treating stroke as early as possible, we can minimise the devastating impact of stroke, secure better outcomes for patients and, ultimately, save lives. Time lost is brain lost."
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