WASHINGTON — Martin A. Samuels, MD, DSc (Hon), MACP, FANA, chair of the department of neurology at Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Miriam Sydney Joseph Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, shared several updates in the field of neurology, including advances in stroke, Parkinson's disease and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, here at the annual American College of Physicians Internal Medicine Meeting.
"The big news in stroke over the past year or so is the unequivocal proof around the world in many different clinical trials that intra-arterial therapy to extract clots of acute stroke patients clearly is a major benefit," he said. "[These studies] show just about the same thing: intra-arterial clot extraction, after the use of intravenous TPA, clearly improves the outcome of people with acute stroke."
Samuels continued: "Patients can be treated up to 12 hours. Some people are treating patients even after that period of time. The new clot-retrieving devices are actually stent devices which are inserted into the artery through a groin puncture and then the clot is extracted and no stent is left in the vessel, which is a big advantage."
He noted that this procedure requires training and is only currently available in larger cities. Samuels expects that the treatment will become more widely available in the next several years.