Is there a cure for a stroke?

Unfortunately, there is no cure for stroke. Getting tPA (tissue plasminogen activator) treatment as rapidly as possible in the appropriate setting can minimize the permanent brain damage from strokes. In many cases people may make meaningful and even remarkable recoveries after a stroke, but most people are left with permanent disabilities.

There are two acknowledged, effective treatments for acute stroke. One is intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (IV tPA), and it’s a clot-busting drug administered through the vein. It has substantial benefits for a lot of people and has to be administered within four-and-a-half hours of a stroke starting.

Catheters can also be effective in certain circumstances like if you have a large vessel that’s blocked. A specialist will snake a catheter up the femoral artery and remove the clot to restore blood flow. That’s time sensitive; there’s a window where, if the stroke is older than about six hours or sometimes up to 12, you don’t do it.

After that you do preventive strategies to lower the chance of having another stroke. Those treatments don’t help a stroke that already happened, though. It’s usually a combination of blood thinners, cholesterol-lowering medications, lowering blood pressure, diabetes treatment and smoking cessation. Certain types of strokes have to be treated with very strong blood thinners for adequate prevention. Patients with atrial fibrillation can get clots in the left chamber of their heart that frequently break off, so you need to use heavy duty blood thinners like warfarin.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for strokes. A stroke requires emergency medical attention, and even with early treatment, the condition can be fatal. Severe bleeding or a lack of blood flow in the brain can cause permanent damage, and in many cases, people have lasting physical problems that may affect their mobility, speech or memory.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.