Major advances have been made in the treatment of stroke. There are now many effective medications and surgical techniques to contain the effects of stroke. However, the effectiveness of these treatments depends on how soon after the stroke a patient is taken to the hospital. The three major treatments are :
(1) Tissue plasminogen activator (a medication);
(2) The Merci retrieval system (a device) and
(3) The Penumbra system (a device)
The tissue plasminogen activator (TPA) is a medication, which, if administered within three to six hours, can assist in restoring blood flow to the brain by dissolving the clot. The Merci system is a device that uses a wire for capturing and removing a blood clot. The Penumbra system is also a device that restores blood flow to the brain by retrieving the clot through suction.