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Stroke diagnosis aided by MRI

6th November 2006

US researchers believe that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can help doctors in the diagnosis of stroke patients.

Scientists from Stanford Stroke Center claim in the Annals of Neurology that the technique can allow doctors to differentiate between stroke patients who are likely to benefit from medication and those who would not.

The research team, led by Dr Greg Albers, the director of the centre, found that MRI scans can help identify brain tissue that has not been irreversibly damaged by a stroke and show which patients would benefit from having blocked blood vessels reopened.

An MRI scan is a major step on from the CT scans that are currently used on stroke patients, which are unable to pinpoint the location of brain injuries until around eight hours after an attack.

Each year, around 130,000 people in the UK suffer a stroke, according to the Stroke Association.