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What conditions do you have?
What conditions do you have?
Stroke is a leading cause of physical and cognitive disabilities. The most common type of stroke is ischemic (lack of blood flow to the brain due to clot blocking a blood vessel). Many people with stroke (PwS) have changes on the brain imaging called small vessel disease (SVD). This is a condition that affects tiny blood vessels supplying the brain, leading to decreased blood flow in some parts of the brain. These brain changes may hamper the recovery process after stroke, or lead to recurrent stroke and cognitive impairment. SVD is a slow process that can be seen as multiple black spots on computed tomography or white spots on magnetic resonance imaging. Current treatments to reduce the effect of SVD on PwS are to control high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol and increase physical activity. However, these approaches do not lead to a reduction in SVD.
Remote Ischemic Conditioning is a type of treatment delivered with help of a regular blood pressure machine. This does not involve any drug. A typical treatment involves the application of a blood pressure cuff followed by brief sessions of compressions and relaxation on the arm muscles much akin to blood pressure measurement but for 5 min. It leads to a transient safe state of less blood flow in arm muscles which initiates the release of molecules and signals transmitted by blood. These signals may then go on to improve blood flow in the brain. Recent animal and human studies have suggested that the use of RIC may reduce the SVD load.
A new device will be used to deliver remote ischemic conditioning therapy in a better manner. Existing devices generate the same amount of compression for all people. The pressure applied by the machine in the arm may be either more than required or less than required. The ideal compression would be one that achieves a low blood flow state in the arm at the least possible pressure. To achieve this our group is using a small light sensor to inform us. The light sensor is closely applied to the skin over the arm below the blood pressure cuff. It emits light that is absorbed by the skin and the light is then reflected. This is detected by other sensors placed together. From the reflected light the sensor can obtain information about blood flow in the skin. When the pressure increases with help of an automated machine the light sensor can detect that blood flow are reduced and this information is displayed on the computer. The information about skin blood flow will inform about the level of pressure to apply to give accurate treatment.
The new device with optical feedback will deliver RIC in PwS and SVD in a safe and reliable manner. A total of 51 patients will take part in this study. Thirty-four will get remote ischemic conditioning therapy and 17 patients will get sham-control therapy. All patients will get standard post-stroke treatment according to the Canadian Stroke Best Practices Recommendation.
Michael Gill holds a Bachelors of Science in Integrated Science and Mathematics from McMaster University. During his degree he devoted considerable time modeling the pharmacodynamics of promising drug candidates. Since then, he has leveraged this knowledge of the investigational new drug ecosystem to help his father navigate clinical trials for multiple myeloma, an experience which prompted him to co-found Power Life Sciences: a company that helps patients access randomized controlled trials.