Sparks Study Takes Aim at Stroke Patients

(July 18, 2011) - Neurologists at Sparks Health System are participating in a clinical research trial for a treatment that may improve outcomes for some stroke patients.

NeuroThera, a non-invasive, infrared laser device is being evaluated for use in the treatment of acute ischemic stroke. An ischemic stroke occurs when a vessel supplying blood to the brain becomes blocked. Brain cells unable to get enough blood and oxygen die, which may result in a disabling injury or death.

The NeuroThera technology works by transmitting Transcranial Laser Therapy through the skull at 20 specific sites. The technology is believed to stimulate metabolic reactions that prevent brain cells from dying. The treatment can be administered to patients up to 24 hours after the onset of stroke symptoms.

The NeuroThera technology is now in its third round of clinical trials. In Arkansas, this potentially life-saving treatment is only available at Sparks Regional Medical Center. Sparks is currently one of about 40 health care facilities worldwide participating in the study. Stroke patients are screened to meet specific criteria before being asked if they want to participate in the trial.

Sparks Health System is ranked No. 1 in the state for stroke care medical excellence and patient safety by CareChex, a national ranking by the Delta Group. Sparks Regional Medical Center is a Certified Primary Stroke Center and has earned the Gold Seal of Approval from The Joint Commission. The hospital follows national standards and guidelines published by the Brain Attack Coalition and the American Stroke Association for stroke care. Less than 1% of all hospitals in the United States have received this certification. Sparks is also designated a Top Stroke Center by the American Heart Association and has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines® -Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award.

Click here to learn more about Sparks Health System's award-winning stroke care.