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Introducing Strokefinder: Microwave Helmet That Identifies Stroke Type

In a groundbreaking new study, scientists from the Chalmers University of Technology, Sahlgrenska Academy, and Sahlgrenska University Hospital successfully demonstrated the Strokefinder’s abilities to differentiate between bleeding and clot-induced strokes. This information is vital to save a patient’s life due to the differences in medication that must be administered depending on the type of stroke a person might have.

 In order to understand why a helmet is necessary at all, it is important to understand the science behind strokes. Two main types of strokes occur most often, which are ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes. Ischemic strokes occur because of a lack of blood flow to the brain, normally due to a blood clot. Hemorrhagic strokes are the result of a ruptured artery in the brain. As many know, strokes can lead to paralysis, loss of memory, eye problems, speech impairment, and even death. While ischemic strokes can be treated with blood thinners, the same kind of medication can be damaging to those who have experienced a hemorrhagic stroke. For these reasons, it is extremely important to distinguish between the different types of stroke someone has had in order to treat it successfully.

 Unfortunately, external physical symptoms cannot determine the type of stroke a person has experienced. Currently, the only examination that can successfully diagnose a certain type of stroke is a CT scan, located in a hospital. In the case of ischemic strokes, blood thinners must be given to the patient within four hours after a stroke has occurred for the treatment to work. Strokefinder eliminates the problem of distinguishing between the two different types of strokes by using microwaveable energy to analyze brain tissue.

 After testing the product on forty-five patients in a hospital, the researchers found that the Strokefinder can differentia
te between clot-induced strokes, bleeding strokes, and healthy patients. Published in the journal IEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, the study also found that the helmet is self-learning, meaning its accuracy becomes better the more often it is used. Professor of biomedical engineering at Chalmers University of Technology Mikael Persson claims that the study will not only help physicians diagnose strokes more quickly and accurately, but it also has the potential to diagnose patients before they even reach the hospital. The team is currently working to create a portable version of the Strokefinder to use in ambulances. Other benefits of the device include shortened hospital stays and less of a need for rehabilitation as a result of an accurate diagnosis, which benefits both patients and the healthcare system. Although more tests need to be conducted before the Strokefinder is put to routine use, scientists agree that it is a remarkable achievement in the field of stroke medicine.

Gary Starkman Dr. Starkman, a top Neurologist in NYC, is the Medical Director and founder of New York Neurology Associates. He is Board Certified in Neurology with a subspecialty certification in Pain Medicine.

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