Scientists: Portable device acts as early detector of strokes

By David Ferguson
Thursday, December 27, 2012 13:50 EDT
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Stroke detection device via screencap
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Israeli scientists have produced a device that could revolutionize how we detect and treat strokes. A Reuters report said that strokes are the third biggest killer in the western world and early detection and treatment can vastly improve patient outcomes.

Dr. Natan Bornstein, vice president of the World Stroke Organization, said that the prototype device, made by the Israeli tech start-up Neurokeeper could save lives.

“This is a very innovative device and technology, and also approach,” said Bornstein. “To prevent stroke, and to identify the signs and symptoms and signals of disturbances in blood flow to the brain, which in this case, we can act immediately.”

The device, which costs around $200, monitors the brain waves of people at risk of stroke, comparing incoming information against an algorithm to check for discrepancies which could presage a stroke event. People who have already had strokes and those who suffer from carotid stenosis, a narrowing of the carotid artery, which is the main blood vessel running to the brain, could greatly benefit from early warnings of an approaching stroke.

The Mayo Clinic website lists causes of carotid stenosis as plaques in the blood vessel caused by cholesterol, calcium deposits, fibrous tissue or other cellular debris. Smokers, people who have abused cocaine, alcohol and other drugs, older people, patients with high blood pressure or people with a family history of stroke are all at risk for carotid artery stenosis, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

A Neurokeeper spokesperson said that patients at risk could even potentially use the device to monitor their own condition at home. Treating stroke sufferers quickly is often key to their long-term survival and recovery.

Watch video about this story, embedded via Reuters, below:

David Ferguson
David Ferguson
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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