New brain-wave cap could revolutionize stroke diagnosis in ambulances

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Millions of people worldwide suffer from ischemic strokes every year, where a blood clot blocks a blood vessel in the brain, potentially causing severe damage or even death.

Timely treatment is essential in such cases. Now, a groundbreaking invention, a brain-wave cap, may significantly improve stroke diagnosis in ambulances, ensuring that patients receive the right treatment promptly.

Understanding Ischemic Strokes

An ischemic stroke occurs when a blood clot obstructs a blood vessel in the brain, leading to inadequate blood supply to a portion of the brain. Immediate treatment is crucial to prevent long-term disability or fatalities.

The Brain-Wave Cap Innovation

Neurologist Jonathan Coutinho, Technical Physician Wouter Potters, and Professor of Radiology Henk Marquering, all from Amsterdam UMC, developed a unique brain-wave cap.

This cap allows for an electroencephalogram (EEG), a test that measures brain waves, to be conducted in an ambulance.

The brain-wave cap, equipped with EEG technology, can determine whether a patient is experiencing an ischemic stroke and, more importantly, whether the affected cerebral blood vessel is large or small.

This critical distinction guides treatment decisions. If it’s a small ischemic stroke, the patient receives blood-thinning medication.

However, if it’s a large ischemic stroke, the blood clot must be mechanically removed in a specialized hospital.

The Significance of Speed

In stroke cases, every second counts. The faster the appropriate treatment begins, the better the outcome for the patient.

By diagnosing the condition accurately in the ambulance, the brain-wave cap can help route the patient directly to the most suitable hospital, saving precious time.

Testing and Results

The brain-wave cap underwent extensive testing in Dutch ambulances between 2018 and 2022, involving nearly 400 patients. The study revealed that the cap can accurately identify patients with large ischemic strokes.

“This study demonstrates that the brain-wave cap performs admirably in an ambulance setting. Using the cap’s measurements, we can differentiate between large and small ischemic strokes,” notes Coutinho.

Future Prospects

To transform the brain-wave cap into a market-ready product, Amsterdam UMC established TrianecT, a spin-off company in 2022.

Additionally, a follow-up study called AI-STROKE is currently underway. It aims to collect more data to develop an algorithm for even more precise recognition of large ischemic strokes in ambulances.

In conclusion, this innovative brain-wave cap has the potential to revolutionize stroke diagnosis in ambulances. By swiftly and accurately identifying large ischemic strokes, it can expedite treatment, improve patient outcomes, and save lives.

This development underscores the importance of ongoing research and innovation in medical technology to enhance healthcare delivery.

If you care about stroke, please read studies that diets high in flavonoids could help reduce stroke risk, and MIND diet could slow down cognitive decline after stroke.

For more information about nutrition, please see recent studies about antioxidants that could help reduce the risk of dementia, and tea and coffee may help lower your risk of stroke, dementia.

The research findings can be found in Neurology.

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