October 20, 2015 – Early Strokes


Anchor lead:  Looking at eye movements to discern stroke may lead the way to early intervention, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Looking at eye movements to diagnose stroke may enable doctors to institute treatment strategies early and avoid an even bigger stroke, and that’s why a new device developed by David Newman-Toker, a stroke expert at Johns Hopkins, and colleagues, may be so important.

Newman-Toker: Generally speaking if you sent them off for an MRI you would see the stroke although what we’ve actually shown is that the eye movements are even more accurate than the MRI.  The MRI in the first 24 hours misses about 10-20% of the strokes.  The eye movements seem to pick up all of them.  The reason why that is is because the moment the brain loses blood supply the physiology changes, and so the eye movements change in real time, whereas the structure of the brain, which is what the MRI is measuring, changes more slowly, and so it takes 24-48 hours for those changes to really show up, especially for smaller strokes.  :35

Newman-Toker says multicenter clinical trials are underway to see just how useful the device may be.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.