FDAnews Device Daily Bulletin

HEART STENTS IMPROVE COGNITIVE SPEED AND MEMORY

Nov. 30, 2005
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Stenting of the carotid artery significantly improves cognitive speed and may improve memory in some patients, researchers say.

Doctors that used a stent to treat carotid arterial occlusive disease, or a narrowing of the carotid arteries, found that patients had increased memory and faster cognitive functions, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America. The procedure is meant to be a less invasive way to restore blood flow to the brain, reducing the chances of stroke.

To perform the procedure, an interventional radiologist inserts a long catheter into a tiny incision in the common femoral artery in the leg. Using an image-guidance system such as computed tomography and a guide wire, the radiologist positions the sheath at the site of the narrowing, or stenosis, in the carotid artery, expands the artery with a balloon and inserts a stent to hold the artery open.

"Stenting is a safe way to treat carotid artery stenosis," Iris Grunwald, one of the researchers, said. "In addition, stenting of the carotid artery may offer more than reduced stroke risk, especially to patients with impaired brain perfusion."

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