What Are the Treatments for Ischemic Strokes?


Quick Answer

A medication referred to as tissue plasminogen activator is the only ischemic stroke treatment that is currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration, explains the American Stroke Association. The treatment works to encourage blood flow to the brain by dissolving clots that hinder circulation.

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Full Answer

In cases where tissue plasminogen activator medication is not an option due to medical reasons, individuals suffering from ischemic strokes may also be treated with anti-platelet medications such as aspirin within 48 hours of the onset of symptoms, explains the National Institutes of Health. Patients may also be prescribed blood-thinning medications to reduce the risk of new blood clot development and to prevent blood clots from growing larger.

In certain patients, surgery may be required following an ischemic stroke, to remove blockages and prevent future attacks, explains Emory Healthcare. Specific surgical procedures depend on the age and overall health of the patient, as well as the specific location of the stroke. Surgical options include cartoid endarectomy procedures that work to minimize plaque build-up in the artery supplying blood to the brain, as well as bypass procedures that create additional pathways for blood to flow to the brain. Ischemic stroke victims may also benefit from endovascular procedures in which micro-catheters are utilized to remedy issues such as blockages and clots inside the blood vessels.

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