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Health Spotlight: Saving brain cells after stroke

Health Spotlight: Saving brain cells after stroke

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Within the next few minutes, three people in the United States will suffer a stroke.

If it doesn’t kill you, it may cause severe disability. Now, new medical research is giving patients hope that the damage done by strokes doesn’t have to be permanent.

“I was having headaches all, like, the whole week before,” said Quincy Taylor, a patient.

At 25 years old, Taylor chalked his headaches up to stress.

“It was the worst pain that I’ve experienced, so far, in my life,” said Quincy.

Quincy was suffering from a stroke.

“The blood flow to a specific area of the brain will diminish all a sudden due to a blockage of a key artery,” said Dr. Nicolas Bazan, with the LSU Health Neuroscience Center.

The clot-busting drug TPA was a game changer 30 years ago for treating ischemic strokes. It had to be administered within four hours of a stroke. The extend trial found TPA may be helpful up to 10 hours afterwards. Bazan is working on ways to save brains up to eight and nine days after a stroke.

“Perhaps there are experimental treatments that we can try to protect that area and then be able to restore function of that area,” said Bazan

By pinpointing which cells in the brain are involved in post-stroke response, Bazan believes the neuroprotective molecules his team discovered could save brain cells. As for Quincy, quick treatment has him moving forward, taking recovery one step at a time.

Bazan says that finding new ways to save brain cells will help patients recover faster, with less long-term disability.

This story was created from a script aired on WISH-TV. Health Spotlight is presented by Community Health Network.