Victims of stroke who are administered the clot-busting drug - alteplase within six hours of a stroke enjoy a better quality of and faster recovery. This news is encouraging for victims of stroke as it improves their quality of life.
The drug is now being used extensively in specialist stroke units in the UK. This treatment is given to people that suffer an ischemic stroke when the brain's blood supply is interrupted by a clot. However, the drug did not improve stroke survival rates.
Recovery rates depended on the timing when patients receive treatment. In about 3 out of 100 patients, the drug also led to a bleed in the brain, which can be fatal.
Families will have to consider the risks and take a decision based on the severity of the stroke. Prof Peter Sandercock, of the University of Edinburgh's Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences, who led the study, said: "What doctors need to do is to say this is a difficult decision for patients and their families. They have to say this is a treatment that carries risks."
"It is personal choice, comparing immediate risk versus long-term benefits. When a stroke strikes, time lost is brain lost. The sooner patients receive treatment the more likely they are to make a better recovery."