Sparks Study Takes Aim at Stroke Patients

(November 8, 2013) Neurologists at Sparks Health System are participating in a clinical research trial that compares a new antiplatelet drug to aspirin, which is the current standard of care.

In the SOCRATES study, the effect of ticagrelor given twice daily is compared to Acetylsalicylic acid (ASA), or aspirin, given once daily for the prevention of death, heart attack and stroke in patients with acute ischaemic stroke or Transient Ischaemic Attack (TIA).

The study is being carried out in approximately 1,000 healthcare facilities in 40 countries worldwide.

Stroke patients are screened to meet specific criteria before being asked if they want to participate in the trial. Patients are eligible to take part in this study if they have had an acute ischaemic stroke or high–risk TIA. 

An ischemic stroke occurs when a blood vessel that supplies blood to the brain is blocked by a blood clot. This condition will cause lack of oxygen, and the brain cells can die, which may result in permanent damage.  A TIA is a condition that produces stroke-like symptoms, like sudden weakness on one side of the body or trouble speaking, but the symptoms are temporary.  A TIA could be a warning that a true stroke may happen in the future if something is not done to prevent it. 

A description of this clinical trial is available on, as required by U.S. Law.

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.