Cornell University’s Baker Institute for Animal Health is developing a test to detect strokes in 10 minutes. It requires only a small drop of blood that can barely moisten the fingertip.
Stroke is the leading cause of death in America, with half of Americans suffering from it. At least one risk factor. These factors include high blood pressure and cigarette smoking, diabetes atrial fibrillation, obesity and cardiovascular disease.
A Stroke occurs when Either a blood clot blocks blood flow (ischemic stroke), or a blood vessel bursts in the brain (hemorrhagicstroke). Brain cells become starved of oxygen, leading to permanent disability and death.
Husham Mishu MD, chief neurology and medical head of stroke services at Atlanta Medical Center, said that the best time to treat a stroke is between 3 and 4.5 hours. Patients can receive faster treatment by having the test done in an ambulance while they wait for the ambulance to arrive.
This test is performed using plates that are coated with enzymes that detect neuron-specific endolase (NSE), which increases in blood after stroke. The enzymes that bind to the chemicals trigger a chain reaction which leads to the emission light. Based on the amount of light emitted, researchers can determine the level of NSE in blood. 
Ischemic stroke is a condition in which there is a blockage of blood vessels in the brain. It affects three quarters of stroke victims. There is a good treatment available for these cases. However, it is important to administer the drug within the first three to four hours of onset of symptoms. The study’s principal author says so Roy Cohen, a Baker Institute research scientist.
Cohen believes that speeding up the diagnosis process could help many people avoid permanent damage from ischemic stroke.
“The drug is not effective if you wait too long to get the right treatment.
The test is currently able to detect NSE due to strokes, but Cohen and his coworkers hope to soon adapt the test to detect key chemicals. This will enable them to focus on strokes and distinguish between ischemic or hemorhagic types.
The test could also be used to detect heart disease, concussions and certain cancers.
Alex Travis, co-author of the paper, says that this system could be modified to detect multiple biomarkers. This is the strength of the technique. This technology could be used to build a microfluidic card that can detect 10 biomarkers from different wells. The readout for each biomarker would be the exact same: light.
However, the test will not help stroke patients receive treatment sooner if they are able to identify the symptoms of stroke. People often ignore stroke symptoms or assume that they aren’t related to stroke. Knowing is the key to understanding. How to prevent stroke It is always a good idea to ask for help.
The Signs and symptoms Of stroke:
- Sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arm, or leg, especially one side of the body
- Sudden confusion, difficulty understanding or speaking
- Sudden vision problems in one or both eyes
- Sudden difficulty walking, dizziness or loss of coordination, sudden trouble walking
- Sudden severe headaches with no known cause
 Daily Mail