Patients treated within 24 hours for mini-strokes cut their chances of having a subsequent major stroke by 80%, according to new research that could change the way stroke victims are handled by the medical community. Mini-strokes are often not treated as emergencies in the US and Europe, though the new research suggests they should be.
The study compared patients who received standard treatment—typically drugs to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and to prevent clotting—within 24 hours and those treated several weeks later. "The main message from these studies is that treatment delays can be dangerous," said a stroke expert. Mini-strokes have the same symptoms as a major stroke, such as facial numbness and slurred speech, but the symptoms last less than a day.