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Many more stroke patients could benefit from thrombolytic treatment (the use of drugs to break up or dissolve blood clots), but it needs to be administered as quickly as possible after the first signs of illness.
In a study that included nearly 60,000 patients with acute ischemic stroke, thrombolytic treatment (to help dissolve a blood clot) that was started more rapidly after symptom onset was associated with reduced in-hospital mortality and intracranial hemorrhage and higher rates of independent walking ability at discharge and discharge to home.
Stroke is the fourth leading cause of death and a common cause of long-term disability in the United States, but doctors have very few proven treatment methods.
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