One in Seven Strokes Occurs During Sleep, Many Without Treatment

American Academy of Neurology (AAN)

Approximately 14 percent of all strokes occur during sleep, preventing many from getting clot-busting treatment, according to a study published in the May 10, 2011, print issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

"Because the only treatment for ischemic stroke must be given within a few hours after the first symptoms begin, people who wake up with stroke symptoms often can't receive the treatment since we can't determine when the symptoms started," said study author Jason Mackey, MD, of the University of Cincinnati and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. "Imaging studies are being conducted now to help us develop better methods to identify which people are most likely to benefit from the treatment, even if symptoms started during the night."

The study examined all cases of ischemic stroke in people age 18 and older seen in hospital emergency departments in the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region over one year. The majority of strokes are ischemic strokes caused by blocked blood flow in the brain.

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