New Research May Provide Quick Method for Identifying Stroke

Jun 25, 2004, 01:00 ET from National Stroke Association

    ENGLEWOOD, Colo., June 25 /PRNewswire/ -- A new, simple blood test in
 development may help doctors and emergency personnel quickly diagnose a
 patient experiencing a stroke or brain attack.  Early recognition of stroke
 gives physicians the best chance to provide the most effective stroke
 treatment.  Today at the 5th International Stroke Society World Congress in
 Vancouver, B.C., Biosite, Inc. announced a panel of multiple markers that may
 be useful to tell whether a patient has had a stroke.  The hope is that the
 testing will be done on patients in the ambulance or in the emergency room.
     Every year more than 750,000 Americans have a new or recurrent stroke.  It
 is estimated that 47 percent of fatal strokes occur before patients get to the
 hospital.  If emergency personnel are aware that a patient is having a stroke,
 they may be able to route that patient to an appropriate stroke center
 hospital and alert the doctors.  At the hospital the patient would then have a
 CT scan or other imaging test to determine whether they are have an ischemic
 stroke (blood clot in the brain) or hemorrhagic stroke (blood vessel breaking
 and bleeding into the brain).
     "This tool could be extremely exciting for the stroke community.  In this
 business, time is brain.  Anything we can do to quickly diagnose the stroke
 patient will provide a better chance for a more positive outcome," said James
 Baranski, CEO National Stroke Association.
     "Tools like this that can improve our ability to bring more stroke
 patients to the right treatment area in a timely manner.  If we can do this it
 will help all Americans by returning more stroke survivors to independence,"
 said Dan Hanley professor of Neurology Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions.
     Biosite has enrolled more than 500 patients in this clinical trial.
 Currently there are 10 centers conducting the trial and the company has plans
 to expand the trial to 10 additional centers worldwide.
     National Stroke Association wants patients to ask their doctors about the
 latest in stroke treatment and which hospitals in their area have the greatest
 expertise in treating stroke.
     Based in Englewood, Colo., National Stroke Association is a leading,
 independent national nonprofit organization devoting 100 percent of its
 efforts and resources to stroke.  For more information contact NSA at
 1-800-STROKES (767-6537) or visit
     For interviews on new stroke marker technology, contact
 Diane Mulligan-Fairfield at 720-273-0927.

SOURCE National Stroke Association