Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Stroke Health Center

Font Size

Blood Test May Help Spot Stroke

In Study, Blood Test Identified 98% of People Who'd Had Ischemic Stroke

Glutamate Levels Rise in Stroke Patients continued...

Glutamate levels were measured in their blood within 24 hours of their first symptoms (or in the case of people without symptoms, within 24 hours of entering the study).

Patients were given head CT scans and, in most cases, MRI scans as well, to confirm whether they were having a stroke.

After just one hour, blood levels of glutamate began to rise in patients having a stroke, Bettermann says.

"There was a clear difference in glutamate levels between ischemic stroke patients and all the other groups," she says.

Imaging Still the Gold Standard

Ralph L. Sacco, MD, head of neurology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and immediate past president of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, tells WebMD that development of an accurate blood test to detect ischemic stroke continues to be an important goal.

Such a test could accelerate diagnosis and treatment for stroke, he says.

"This [test] seems promising, but more work is needed to make sure we are not missing cases. We also need to know if [glutamate levels] increase in people having hemorrhagic strokes and transient ischemic attacks (TIAs)," Sacco says.

For now, brain imaging is still the diagnostic tool to diagnose stroke, he says.

Bettermann says the next step will be to validate the findings in a larger study.

These findings were presented at a medical conference. They should be considered preliminary as they have not yet undergone the "peer review" process, in which outside experts scrutinize the data prior to publication in a medical journal.

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

brain illustration stroke
Know these 5 signs.
brain scans
Test your stroke smarts.
woman with migraine
Is there a link?
brain scan
Get the facts.
brain scans
woman with migraine
brain scan
senior man stretching pre workout
Floor level view of therapist helping stroke patie
concerned woman
Lowering Cholesterol Slideshow