Originally posted on LinedIn Pulse by Theresa D. Robinson

It is well known that stroke is the 4th leading cause of death in the USA with, approximately 800,000 people affected each year; about one every 4 seconds (with one person dying every 4 minutes as a consequence thereof). Only heart disease, cancer and chronic lower respiratory diseases have a higher mortality rate.

the elephant in the room is that there’s still a lot of guesswork that’s going on. No matter how good the acute care is, no matter how sophisticated the environment, there’s still a scary lack of knowledge of what’s actually happening to patients cerebral blood flow during stroke.

Studies have shown that a stroke occurs due to problems with cerebral blood flowand supply; either the blood supply is blocked or a blood vessel within the brain ruptures. As such, stroke can be considered a medical emergency, and treatment must be sought as quickly as possible. The quicker that treatment can be administered, the less damage that will be done to the brain. In order for a stroke patient to receive the best diagnosis and treatment possible, they will need to be treated at a hospital within 3 -5 hours of their symptoms first appearing. IV-TPA is considered the standard first line treatment even though it does not guarantee success and must be administered within the 3-5 hour window.

It’s no secret that immense resources have been poured into stroke research over the last two decades. So much has been invested in system-wide strategies to rescue, preserve and recover our citizens’ brain tissue after stroke. Yet outcomes have not improved much, and prevention is still the most important way to deal with stroke. But for those who suffer its grave consequences, damage control will still be needed.

Ornim’s c-FLOW™ monitor, which has taken the market by storm, is the first practical tool to track changes in cerebral blood flow in a way that can truly impact patient care.

But, the elephant in the room is that there’s still a lot of guesswork that’s going on. No matter how good the acute care is, no matter how sophisticated the environment, there’s still a scary lack of knowledge of what’s actually happening to patients cerebral blood flow during stroke. Today, even in perfect circumstances, the best doctors cannot tell what is happening to your brain’s blood flow, at least not in a practical fashion. And in today’s medical environment, when things are not practical, they’re rarely done.

Until recently, with few exceptions, most clinical trials in stroke have not shown benefit. And for the most part, this is because the ultimate measure, tissue perfusion, has been impractical to monitor. So clinical trials such as IMS-III or MR RESCUE have relied upon surrogate measures for tissue salvage, such as clinical outcome measures or recanalization as measured by angiography. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent on modalities intended to protect or salvage brain tissue, but not a single one of them has – or could have – measured cerebral blood flow to determine efficacy.

So the road has been littered with the carcasses of dead clinical trials: Studies that showed no benefit despite promising preclinical data, possibly because the most useful and actionable parameter, flow, was not measured. And venture capitalists have all but abandoned the funding of stroke-related drugs and treatment strategies. If it weren’t for the promise provided by upcoming clinical trial releases, such as MR CLEAN, stroke research itself might just have ended up dead in the water.

So in the spirit of the season, we can take a moment to be thankful that change is on the way. For the first time, cerebral blood flow can be monitored in a practical fashion. During the first few hours, when acute intervention can make such a difference in outcome, doctors now have access to an innovative monitor that gives insight to how their interventions are working.

An Israeli bio-tech start-up company, Ornim Medical, financially supported by Orbimed Healthcare Fund and GE Healthymagination Fund among others, is a cerebral blood flow powerhouse. Their c-FLOW™ monitor, which has taken the market by storm, is the first practical tool to track changes in cerebral blood flow in a way that can truly impact patient care. With its proprietary technology, Ultrasound Tagged Light™, this exciting innovation was tested at the leading clinical centers in the USA where it gave doctors immediate insight into how well their treatments perform to rescue brain tissue. Already deployed in many of the US News and World Report Top Top-Ranked Hospitals for Neurology & Neurosurgery, 2014, the company’s move into the Operating room and Emergency Departments has just started.

Because of the c-FLOW™, efforts to restore and optimize brain blood flow can now be judged on the basis of how effective they are, in real time and non-invasively. The days of muddled clinical trials and failure to demonstrate efficacy of treatments can be put behind us as we start to objectively monitor the results of treatments. Stroke care is poised to change, and the tools to create better outcomes are about to take a leap forward. During the last three months while Ornim has installed its devices, the physician community has quickly learnt how the c-FLOW™ will & can impact care for patients with stroke!

Link to the original article here