Brain damage from stroke can be minimised

A new study from The University of Queensland shows monitoring the brain of stroke patients using QEEG studies could inform treatments and minimising brain damage of stroke victims.

 

EEG stands for electroencephalogram and is a medical test which is used to measure the electrical activity of the brain.

 

Dr Simon Finnigan from UQ's Centre for Clinical Research and Professor Michel van Putten from Medisch Spectr`um Hospital and University of Twente in the Netherlands, recently reviewed all published Quantitative EEG (QEEG) studies of stroke worldwide.

 

“The main goals of this research were to evaluate key findings, identify common trends and determine what the future priorities should be, both for research and for translating this to best inform clinical management of stroke patients,” Dr Finnigan said.

 

Currently, tissue plasminogen activator (TPA), a drug which can dissolve blood clots, is administered intravenously to stroke patients within 4.5 hours after the onset of symptoms and clinicians wait for visual signs that symptoms are improving.

 

If this doesn't occur after approximately one hour, follow-on treatments may be used.

 

“This is where QEEG could indicate whether or not the brain is responding to the drug. Plus, it could do so up to an hour before the symptoms might improve," Dr Finnigan said.

 

"This is a critical difference when “time is brain” and clinicians are trying to get blood back into the brain before it's too late. If QEEG can enable clinicians to start other treatments faster, this could help minimise brain damage and deficits," he said.

 

Dr Finnigan is working with neurologists, Dr Wong, Dr Read and Dr Sheikh and other clinicians at the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital (RBWH).

 

13 August 2012.