A report in the Sydney Morning Herald says scientists in Australia are developing a miniature robot called the Neuroglide that would be able to navigate through the arteries of the human brain and remove life-threatening blood clots in stroke victims.
The report quotes neurointerventionist Bernard Yan as saying that currently about 15 percent of stroke victims die because the blood clot in their brain can’t be accessed down a winding path of arteries.
According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, stroke is a leading cause of death that kills more than 800,000 people in the United States each year.
Risk factors for the blood clots that can cause a stroke include long periods of physical inactivity, a family history of blood clots, pregnancy and use of birth control pills.
Although all birth control pills can increase the risk of blood clots, a number of studies show pills such as Yasmin that contain the compound drospirenone can carry up to three times the risk compared to other oral contraceptives on the market. Pills with drospirenone include Yaz, Beyaz and Ocella.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the Neuroglide is the size of a grain of salt. It would be placed at the end of a soft plastic tube, or catheter, and driven by remote control. The Neuroglide can move with precision to the left, right, forwards and backwards through tiny arteries, and would allow doctors to access and remove clots in parts of the brain that would otherwise be inaccessible.
Doctors currently use plastic catheters without a motor on the tip, steering the catheters manually up to the brain by pushing and pulling them from where they’re inserted in the leg artery. The Neuroglide will allow for precision steering and maneuverability.
The device has been tested in laboratories but will require further years of testing before it can be used on live patients.
Patients should consult their doctors before making any changes in their medication. A consultation with a Beyaz lawyer is also important if there are significant injuries while on Beyaz or similar birth control pills.
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