Advertisement

Is there a cure for a stroke?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

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.

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.

Continue Learning about Stroke Treatment

How has the treatment of strokes changed over time?
Dr. Christopher M. Goshgarian, MDDr. Christopher M. Goshgarian, MD
The sense of urgency in the treatment of strokes has changed over time. Not too long ago, after havi...
More Answers
What happens in the days following a stroke?
Tulane Medical CenterTulane Medical Center
In the days following a stroke people can have complications. Sometimes, when strokes are large, the...
More Answers
How do anticoagulants affect someone with a stroke?
Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhDDr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Anticoagulants thin the blood and increase blood flow, which can worsen bleeding in the brain after ...
More Answers
What can I expect at the hospital if I am having a stroke?
Los Robles Regional Medical CenterLos Robles Regional Medical Center
Once a stroke patient arrives at the hospital, healthcare professionals will diagnose the type of st...
More Answers

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.