When someone suffers from a stroke time is of the essence. A fast diagnosis and treatment can mean the difference between life and death and can also determine the level of subsequent recovery.
For this reason, scientists are working on a new blood test that one day could rapidly confirm whether someone is having a stroke and what kind. They have built a device that can process whole blood and isolate genetic material for two potential stroke biomarkers within minutes. Keeping in mind that identifying more biomarkers could aid in diagnosis, they designed their device so it can analyse a total of four biomarkers at the same time.
Strokes have two possible causes. In ischemic strokes, a clot stops blood flow in a part of the brain and with haemorrhagic stroke, a blood vessel in the brain ruptures.
Both can lead to similar symptoms, such as numbness on one side of the body, sudden weakness and headache. Current diagnostic tests can't distinguish between these two types of stroke but the correct treatment depends on the kind of stroke a person is having.
Researchers in the USA have now identified biomarkers in the blood that can indicate the type of stroke that is occurring and that could assist in determining the best treatment option.
The report of the study appears in the American Chemical Society journal Analytical Chemistry.