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New imaging technology helps health professionals treat stroke victims

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Beaufort Memorial Hospital leading the way in new imaging technology for stroke patients (Credit: Robert Catanese)

A stroke is a sudden loss of brain function that can have lasting effects.

Beaufort Memorial Hospital is leading the way with new technology that helps the treatment of stroke patients.

Dr. Paul Mazzeo is a Neurologist at Beaufort Memorial Hospital, he says Diffusion Tensor Imaging is paving the way to new treatment in the diagnosis of stroke victims.

“We have the ability to detect the extent of brain injury it's sort of like a standard MRI just looks at the surface we're able to look much deeper now,” said Mazzeo.

Doctors say it is similar to conventional MRI’s and costs anywhere from $400 to $3000 and most insurance companies cover the procedure.

Daniel Mock is the Imaging Services Director at BMH, he says this technology is all about patient care.

“DTI software allows us to have a higher level diagnostic tool for our patients,” said Mock.

DTI technology allows doctors to evaluate the location, orientation and magnitude of the stroke in the brain. It also helps neurologists to assess the damage a stroke has caused and determine the most effective treatment to reverse it.

“A lot of people who suffer from stroke may recover from paralysis but they still have memory issues. But, by using DTI we can see changes in the brain and also see improvement in those areas of damage. We are moving into an era where we taylor the therapy much more to the individual patient,” said Mazzeo.

According to the CDC, a stroke kills more than 130,000 Americans each year. That means one out of every 20 deaths. It is the fifth leading cause of death for Americans.

Some signs and symptoms include, trouble seeing, loss of balance, difficulty speaking, weakness in the arms/legs, facial paralysis, severe headache, loss of senses and loss of understanding or cognitive disablement. Dr Mazzeo says in every stroke case, time is the most important factor in treating patients with success.

“If we intervene early we have a much better chance treating patients that they have minimal or no deficits by the time they leave the hospital,” said Mazzeo.

If you would like more information visit www.bmhsc.org or call 1-843-522-5015.