Health: Stroke Of Luck

Researchers are finding new ways to deliver treatment when it counts most

Every 45 seconds, someone in America has a stroke; every three minutes, someone dies of one. That translates into 700,000 strokes and 165,000 deaths each year, making ischemia (the technical term for the most common type of stroke) the nation's No. 3 killer. Even among survivors, strokes can exact a terrible toll: aftereffects range from difficulty walking, speaking and carrying out the everyday activities of life to depression and paralysis.

The key to treatment is speed. As the American Stroke Association's slogan puts it: "Time lost is brain lost." The clot-busting drug TPA, for example, has to be delivered within...

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