Surgery Is Not the Answer for Preventing All Strokes
In an editorial accompanying the study, Louis R. Caplan, MD, argues that its
findings underscore the need for thorough evaluations of patients who are at
risk for stroke. "The main message of this article is that many patients
have more than one potential cause of stroke. Doctors should try to identify
all potential causes and treat those that can be treated," Caplan tells
WebMD. "Don't necessarily stop the investigation when one suspect is
found." Caplan is a neurologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in
Boston and professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School.
This research was supported by the National Institute of Neurological
Disorders and Stroke, part of the National Institutes of Health.
- Surgeons can clean out clogged blood vessels in the neck to prevent a
stroke, but a third of strokes are unrelated to these arteries.
- Some experts are worried about ultrasounds that are advertised to examine
these particular vessels, even though there are many other important factors in
determining stroke risk.
- Physicians should try to identify all potential causes of stroke and treat
those that can be treated.