Mechanics Of Stroke
As per the National Stroke Association, stroke is the number 5 leading cause of death among the majority of adults in America. It is also one of the leading causes of disability. However, since people are not aware of the common symptoms of stroke, treatment is usually delayed.
Our heart beats approximately 100,000 times daily, and each beat is in conjunction with blood that is pumped out from the heart. This nutrient and oxygen-filled blood goes through a system of vessels to all the cells in our body. That is the normal mechanism. When something goes wrong, like a blockage in a vessel, it stops the normal blood circulation to that particular area, and when this occurs to the heart, it is referred to as a heart attack. When this occurs to the brain, on the other hand, it is referred to as a brain attack or stroke.
Recognizing The Signs Of Stroke
There are definitive symptoms of stroke that you should watch out for. If you think you may be experiencing one, these symptoms occur suddenly and may include:
- Numbness and drooping on one side of the face
- Difficulty understanding or talking
- Difficulty maintaining balance
- Trouble walking normally
- Numbness or paralysis on one side of the body
- Severe headaches
- Abnormal vision on one or both eyes
It is essential to be aware that stroke symptoms are not typically associated with any pain, which is why you may ignore them. It might be too late to realize that you are facing a critical condition that needs immediate medical attention.
Types Of Stroke
- Transient Ischemic Attack. TIA is synonymous to ischemic stroke, as these two types are both a result of a blood clot. However, TIA is self-limiting, meaning that the clot disperses by itself and all symptoms diminish within 24 hours. Although TIA is not officially categorized as a true stroke, it should seriously be attended to. Experiencing its symptoms signals one that his chances of suffering from a stroke are quite high. This is because surveys show that one of three individuals who experiences TIA eventually suffers from an ischemic attack within a year. Frequently, stroke occurs days or weeks after the occurrence of TIA
- Hemorrhagic Stroke. Brain rupture secondary to weak blood vessels is the usual result of a hemorrhagic stroke. It is the least common form yet it is the most dangerous. It represents 15 percent of stroke cases and about 40 percent of stroke deaths. The medical team must stop any seizure, brain swelling or bleeding. If this is not done soon, surgery is required to fix the bleeding vessels.
- Ischemic Stroke. This happens when a blood clot blocks an artery or vein in the brain. The most common kind of stroke, ischemic stroke accounts for 87percent of cases. Medications must be administered to the patient within four hours, as this type of stroke is time-sensitive.
Understanding The Signs And Types of Stroke
When To Visit Your Physician
Whatever type of stroke you or someone you know is experiencing, you need to seek immediate medical attention. As per the American Stroke Association, approximately 2 million brain cells die from lack of nutrients and oxygen when the brain is deprived of blood for one minute. This damages the different functions of the brain, including those that are vital to everyday life, such as walking and speaking.
If you are at high risk for having a stroke, it is to your advantage if you are able to recognize its symptoms, the type of stroke you may have, and what steps you can take to make things easier for you. It might be cliché, but yes, truly it is better to be safe than sorry.
The art of science and technology opens the gate towards more possibilities when it comes to aiding medical needs. Due to innovative advancement, modern medical devices pave a much more precise, accurate, and speedy operations. Thus, it tends to save more lives in the process. Since technology focuses on aiding certain conditions, particularly stroke, the development in medical rehabilitation receives its share as well. The two most advanced medical aids are now the future’s hope for fast and reliable stroke recovery treatment.
Stroke And Its Treatment
Stroke or brain attack is a common condition that is damaging and life-threatening. Though there are many traditional ways of handling it, people aren’t able to secure proper medical assistance. The techniques in treatments are costly, time-consuming, and most of the time ineffective. However, with the advancement of technology, the new set of devices has come up and created a series of new techniques and procedure that can multiply the efficiency and accuracy in handling stroke.
SynPhNe Or Synergistic Physio-Neuro Platform
SynPhNe is a new device that vastly improves the rehabilitation recovery of stroke patients. With this invention, patients suffering from a stroke who are going through a conventional rehabilitation for a year or more can hit a secure recovery. The process of its platform works by giving real-time feedback to the patients on what is currently occurring in their brain as well as on their muscles.
The synergistic Physio-Neuro acts like a bridge between the two muscles. It is composed of computer software which links to a special headset. It attaches to neural sensors and to the arm glove. It supports a design that helps stroke patients to control their body movement, provided with instructional procedures that patients can easily mimic. It is easy to use and has an ergonomic design.
Some data shows SynPhNe can support possible progress to help an individual carry out regular daily tasks. That’s because the long-term rehabilitation can secure a 70 percent recovery of the person’s motor function. It ensures a large margin of improvement in just a month of examination. The SynPhNe is still under clinical trial, but so far, the results are very positive, and there are still no signs of adverse side effects.
Manu Neurexa Hand Orthosis
After weeks in a wheelchair due to a stroke incident, critical situations arise. During recovery, the body is set under pressure to regain its normal motor movement. It is where the Manu Neurexa comes in. It is a device that supports orthopedic immobilization. Since the arm or wrist gets paralyzed after suffering a stroke, the typical human motor movement will become restricted. But with the aid of Manu Neurexa, it stabilizes and supports the wrist and joint of the hand. It creates a neutral position for the hand so it can start to maneuver and move again. Its active design movement encourages patients to focus on weak muscles, particularly on nerve damages.
The device is made of a very durable and comfortable type of material called “the outlast.” Its soft edges prevent sores and chafing too. It can reduce perspiration due to its temperature regulating material that provides ultimate comfort. The device protects the hand and wrist from external pressure, which gives the patient a safer and more relaxed feeling during rehabilitation.
Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States, and it is the most common adult disability worldwide. It is a condition that can happen to anyone at any time. Therefore, it needs immediate proper medical attention. And with today’s emergence of new medical technology, there’s an assurance that patients with stroke can now have a greater chance of gaining back their normal lives.
Glaucoma is a severe disease of the eye in which the fluid pressure rises. If left without proper medical attention, it may result in vision loss or worst blindness. That’s due to the permanent damage to the optic nerve. This type of eye disease is very common, especially among older adults.
The most common symptom of this eye disease is severe eye pain, and possible treatment may include surgery or non-surgery operation. However, over the years, research finds a lot of possible medications to treat glaucoma. The integration of technology into the medical field helps a lot in speeding up the process of medical assistance and its development. Below are some latest innovations in the glaucoma medication field.
Rhopressa or AR-13324
Glaucoma in the form of elevated IOP or intraocular pressure is mainly a disease of the outflow system through the trabecular meshwork or the outlet of the inner eye fluid. Past medication aims to enhance the trabecular flow; however, this technique results in some local ocular side effect. That is why today scientists are developing a drug that can reduce the pressure of the eye by enhancing uveoscleral or eye fluid outflow. Hence, there’s the creation of Rhopressa. Though FDA does not yet approve the new drug, its application is already pending for submission.
Aerie Pharmaceuticals developed the drug. It seeks an indication of “once a day” use of the drug to minimize internal eye pressure. However, according to the pharmaceutical company, the drug may work well only if it is combined with the use of prostaglandin analog (a type of hypotensive medication that treats glaucoma). The Rhopressa is still under development, but if it does prove that it can reduce episcleral venous pressure or internal eye pressure, it will open the gateway towards new therapeutic possibilities.
Aside from AR-13324 or Rhopressa, there is a second TM-targeted drug which works through a different molecular mechanism than Rhopressa. It is known asTrabodenoson. The new drug affects the inner eye outflow which is the actual source of the disease. It takes the treatment back to a therapeutic target and tends to point towards a different patient population. Patients with more elevated eye pressure are advised to take the drug.
The Trabodenoson is an adenosine A1 receptor agonist used to create a biological response to glaucoma. It helps in boosting up the outflow through regulating the trabecular meshwork cell production of matrix metalloproteinases (the enzymes responsible for normal tissue turnovers). Trabodenoson targets to drain better and reverse the tissue area of the eye for it to alleviate the pressure.
MicroPulse P3 Cyclophotocoagulation
It is a new type of MIGS or minimally invasive glaucoma surgery. Traditionally, techniques of common glaucoma surgeries burn the ciliary body, but with MicroPulse P3’s slow application of laser energy, it slowly slices into the cell tissue. Though the pulse, created by the laser, heats up, it does not burn the eye tissue. It is due to an integrating pause between each pulse.
MicroPulse helps the eye tissue to have time to cool off and not burn in the process. This procedure allows the eye tissue to change without a single damage. However, this method remains under development and requires FDA approval. Since no superior data support its validity as a proper treatment for glaucoma, it remains under observation and out of public reach.
Glaucoma is most often referred to as a silent thief of sight. The risk of having the condition may increase if the patient experiences thyroid problems. It can get worse with aging as well. But with proper medical treatment and well-assessed procedures, there’s a sure way of getting rid of it.
Glaucoma is a condition of the eye that damages the optic nerve. It can result in vision loss or much worst, blindness. Its pressure is a front-runner as a risk factor for this possible optic nerve damage.
What’s In The Eye?
The anterior chamber is the face in front of the eyes, and in it is a fluid that flows unceasingly in and out of it. The fluid provides nourishment to nearby tissues. It exits the chamber at an open angle located in the space where the cornea and iris converges and flows out like a drain through a spongy meshwork like structure.
In the case of open-angle glaucoma, the fluid inside the chamber is not adequately drained. Therefore, not all of the liquid makes out from the spongy meshwork. So when the fluid builds up in the chamber, it creates pressure inside the eye that possibly results in optic damage.
MIGS or minimally invasive glaucoma surgery is the latest glaucoma treatment available to the public. Apparently, in the United States, there are only two MIGS devices approved for the market and already in serious development. However, as soon as the application of the latest devices passes the proper testing and inspection, there are more devices ready for use.
Allergan – Allergan is a 6 mm XEN gel stent designed to lower eye pressure. It can be implanted through the trabeculum into the subconjunctival space of the eye through a little incision in the cornea. It is used mainly for patients with refractory glaucoma. The stent focuses on addressing refractory POAG in patients who suffer from unresponsive to maximum tolerated medical therapy. Up to date, there are more than 11,000 XEN gel stents placed all over the world.
CyPass Micro-stent – MIGS has already two approved devices in the market. There’s the Cypass, and the other one is the Glaukos or iStent. These devices reduce intraocular pressure or IOP for patients with mild to moderate POAG or open-angle glaucoma. According to experts, these devices can be easily implemented into practice by the most comprehensive ophthalmologists in the country. The invention is said to have a superior intraocular pressure lowering efficacy compared to a cataract surgery procedure.
Glaukos or iStent – It is one of the MIGS devices that are FDA approved, alongside CyPass. The iStent inject an injector has two preloaded stents. With the use of the injector, the two devices are implanted into the Schlemm’s canal to increase fluid outflow. Apart from iStent, the iStent supra also drains into the suprachoroidal space and iDose that serves as travoprost depot. It gets injected towards the sclera.
Equinox – Most glaucoma-related devices treatment methods treat glaucoma as a disease of elevated intraocular pressure; however, Equinox is different. The equinox approach to glaucoma focuses on looking at it as a disease of two pressures – by intracranial and by intraocular pressure. It labels the pressure gradient between ICP and IOP. It gently peels and eliminates eye dryness so it can replenish its nourishing extract.
InnFocus – One of the first minimally invasive devices for mild to moderate and severe POAG is the Microshunt. The device promises a sustained IOP that is below 15 mmHG. It somehow eradicates eye drop medication. As per record, it is the only device in a random controlled trial versus trabeculectomy.
There are many more risk factors that may relate to optic nerve damage and can lead to glaucoma. However, with early detection and treatment, there’s a minimized risk of having vision loss and glaucoma. There are some significant strides in the research towards treating glaucoma. Some of these innovative devices may change the way glaucoma is treated.
SCI or Spinal cord injury is a very costly injury. It often leads to psychological and social problems where intensive treatment and care becomes a necessity. Over the years, a variety of pharmacological agents are tested to aid the condition. A lot of these tests flunk, while a few others somehow manage to make small strides towards alleviating the results.
Although there’s an acquired positive laboratory result from large-scale controlled clinical trials, researchers fail to replicate the effect in human testing. Presumably, there are no signs of neurological benefits obtained from the investigative study for SCI treatment. However, some researches on surgical timing show that medical interventions, such as cellular therapy and transplantation, are safe and possible. That’s because the procedures improve neurological state and profoundly reduce overall health care cost.
The Current Evidence Of Surgical Decompression Role In SCI
The CNS or central nervous system healing capability is very limited. That is why most injuries experienced by the brain or spinal cord result into permanent overall dysfunction. However, researchers have found a way to ease the consequences of SCI, and this is through surgical decompression. It is where the spine surgery procedure plays a vital role in the treatment. According to research, undergoing an early surgery after the incident somehow ensures a positive effect for the patient who’s suffering from SCI. This information is supported by data from an early surgical intervention that has resulted in better long-term solutions.
A physical accident or a traumatic occurrence, mostly near-death experience, may result in sustained damage to the spinal column and spinal cord. Some of these incidents could be falling from a building, car accident, sports-related injury, and a lot more. These will result in unimaginable back pains or permanent malfunctions in the human body. But what’s stressful is the destabilization of the spinal column that changes the body’s anatomical structure, giving it a more complicated figure, unpleasant appearance, and useless function. So to resolve these issues, spine surgery is one of the options.
There are different types of decompression procedures. There are laminotomy and laminectomy. These are two types of spine surgery that involves the spine lamina (the structural protective shielding at the back of the spinal canal). Laminectomy is defined as the actual removal or the complete removal of the lamina while laminotomy is only the partial removal of the lamina. The surgeon may choose between these two procedures to gain access to the nerve that is causing the SCI-related symptoms or pain.
There are some cases that spinal decompression is the best option for SCI. However, there are cases that the procedure itself can cause the spine’s instability. From that instance, the process becomes complicated. Since the spinal stabilization surgery, along with spinal fusion, is performed after the decompression procedure, the tricky part of the operation is due to the removal of soft supporting tissues (a disc or a bone). But even if there’s a possibility of complication, the surgeon still ensures a beneficial result from the decompression.
Instrumentation And Fusion
These are often included in the spinal stabilization procedure as well. Fusion involves autograft or allograft methods that are packed into and around the instrumentation of the spine’s structural healing and ingrowths. Instrumentation refers to the variety of implantable devices used to support fusion. These may include inter-body cages, rods, screws, and plates. Instrumentation provides an immediate spinal stabilization with the help of tools while fusion holds everything together like glue.
Decompression is one of the surgeries that may help a person continue a reasonable quality of life after a spinal cord injury. So it’s better to note that the longer a person waits before having surgery, the higher the risk of having permanent damage to the spine.
A brain attack happens when the blood flow to an area of the brain gets blocked or cut off. During this incident, a part of the brain is deprived of oxygen and glucose. People most commonly know this scenario as stroke.
What Happens When There’s A Stroke?
There are a lot of symptoms of stroke, and the most common are weakness and numbness of the arms or legs and dimming or loss of vision in one or both eyes. People can also experience a severe headache. There can be a speechlessness or difficulty in talking or understanding of the surrounding, as well as the loss of stability and balance when walking. Some of these common symptoms are mostly combined with another indication.
Stroke is a medical crisis, and it is essential to call an immediate medical treatment to avoid permanent brain damage or any other injury. Over the years, specialists continue to find the perfect remedy for stroke. And below are the modern therapies and medical treatments applied to patients suffering from a stroke.
Robotic Brain Stereotactic Surgery
There are many types of stroke, one of which is the cerebral stroke. During cerebral hemorrhage, the ruptured veins flood the brain with a lot of blood that automatically creates pressure. It then causes brain edema, stroke, and necrosis which all can lead to death. Through the robotic stereotactic method, there’s a creation of a three-dimensional map of the patient’s brain which allows the robotic surgical system to pinpoint at the highest accuracy. It can identify at least 1mm margin of error of the location of the affected area. Through this technique, it will allow the physician to position the catheter to the accurate position and drain the excess blood. It will reduce the pressure exerted on the brain.
Specialists refer to this technology as a safe and ultra-reliable way of locating the exact position of the affected area in the brain, and thus allows the surgeon to perform surgery with ease. Compared to traditional surgery that takes at least 2 hours or more, the robotic brain stereotactic surgery procedure requires a little less time. It still gives 95% patient’s improvement rating though.
Stem Cell Treatment
Stem cells are considered smart cells in a human body. It can multiply and reintroduce themselves into the specific cells. Due to this characteristic of stem cells, specialists conclude that it has the potential to develop into brain tissues that help in treating damaged brain cells. The stroke stem cell treatment begins with a safety efficacy evaluation performed by medical experts. Through this, the attending medical practitioner determines whether the patient is qualified to know the stage of severity of their stroke condition.
Ischemic stroke occurs when there is a blood clot obstructing a blood vessel. The treatment for ischemic stroke is through the administration of a tPA or tissue plasminogen activator. The tPA acts as a dissolving agent that dissolve the obstructing blood clots to allow normal blood flow. However, there are many shortcomings with this drug that makes it impractical. That is why The Scripps Research Institute developed the3K3A-APC. It is an engineered type of human-produced activated protein C. It is a type of re-engineered protein linked with blood clotting regulation and inflammatory reduction agent. Though this type of drug is still under the preliminary stage, it possesses excellent potential towards opening a new way of battling stroke.
Stroke severity varies from one person to another. If there’s no early detection of the condition, brain damage can occur. At some worst cases, it leads to death. Stroke is most common among the elderly, but there are cases were the younger age bracket is affected by the condition.
A spinal cord injury or SCI is the damage to any part of the spinal cord at the end of the cauda equine or spinal canal. Symptoms of SCI may include loss of muscle sensitivity and functionality. It triggers some automatic function below the site of injury, and it can happen in any part or level of the spinal cord. One of the worst cases of SCI is the total loss of muscle function and sensation. Thus, it is important to note the steps in handling SCI in its early stage or after the incident.
The Important Things To Know
Stabilization – After an individual suffers a traumatic event or accident, the very first priority of the rescuer is to stabilize the person’s breathing, spinal column, and blood pressure. It is necessary to not put any tension to the patient’s back to avoid troubled breathing. Most of the time, the recommendation of a cervical collar and backboard usage is a must as well. It is also essential not to place any unnecessary strain on the patient’s body that will cause further injuries. A patient suspected with SCI should be brought to a level 1 trauma center where they provide the highest form of surgical treatment and care to trauma inflicted patients. From there, the center offers a full range of surgeons, specialists and a variety of equipment to handle an SCI treatment procedure.
Injury Classification – With the use of modern medical tools such as X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans, doctors can entirely determine the extent of damage to the injury. With these methods, physicians can also classify or rule out SCI. Part of this procedure includes the patient going into a series of neurological examinations. During these series of tests, the doctor will then measure the amount of muscle tone, sensation, and reflexes of all the patient’s limbs and trunks. The results will be later referred to the ASIA (American Spinal Injury Association classification) for the spinal cord injury scale and then it is labeled according to its corresponding category.
Neuroprotection – Therapies such as neuroprotection aims to stop or minimize the body’s reaction to the injury from any spinal cord damage. During the first few hours of the injury, the use of methylprednisolone (a kind of steroid drug) is essential to the patient. It helps in minimizing the inflammation of the affected part so the patient can reach an improved recovery. Although no superior evidence supports this type of procedure, there’s still a high chance of better results from it. Another form of neuroprotection is therapeutic hypothermia or mostly known as spinal cord cooling. This treatment lowers the overall body temperature to protect the cells in the body from further damage after SCI.
Surgical Intervention – There’s a need for early surgical intervention on patients with SCI. The early detection and treatment for SCI cases aim to remove the risk of permanent damage. The process seeks to stabilize the patient’s condition by discussing possible surgical intervention or procedure. There’s also a proper treatment plan that can estimate the recovery time. The recommendation of a surgical procedure is due to several reasons such as removal of bone fragments, blood clots, herniated disks, spinal tumors, and anything else that may affect the function of the spine.
The symptoms of the injury vary depending on its location. Spinal cord injury most of the time causes enduring changes in body strength, sensation, and other body functions. That is why it is vital to act immediately after the occurrence of SCI because there’s a possibility of having permanent damage. Therefore, the earlier the treatment procedure is administered to the patient, the more significant the chance of recovery.