Stroke symptoms typically start suddenly, over seconds to minutes, and in most cases do not progress further. The symptoms depend on the area of the brain affected. The more extensive the area of brain affected, the more functions that are likely to be lost. Some forms of stroke can cause additional symptoms. For example, in intracranial hemorrhage, the affected area may compress other structures. Most forms of stroke are not associated with headache, apart from subarachnoid hemorrhage and cerebral venous thrombosis and occasionally intracerebral hemorrhage.
Stroke is diagnosed through several techniques: a neurological examination (such as the Nihss), CT scans (most often without contrast enhancements) or MRI scans, Doppler ultrasound, and arteriography. The diagnosis of stroke itself is clinical, with assistance from the imaging techniques. Imaging techniques also assist in determining the subtypes and cause of stroke. There is yet no commonly used blood test for the stroke diagnosis itself, though blood tests may be of help in finding out the likely cause of stroke.
Researchers within the University of Adelaide's new Centre for Stem Cell Research are aiming by the end of this year to show repair in stroke-damaged brains using stem cells taken from adult teeth.
The world-leading research using dental pulp stem cells from extracted human teeth and stroke-affected rat brain tissue were outlined as part of the launch on 16 September, 2008 of the Centre for Stem Cell Research.
The focus of the new Centre will be on turning novel basic research into potential life-saving treatments and cures for serious conditions and diseases.
The Centre will draw together almost 100 research scientists and 80 research students from 18 research groups based at the University of Adelaide, the Women's and Children's Hospital, the Institute of Medical and Veterinary Sciences (IMVS), Hanson Institute and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
University of Adelaide Vice-Chancellor and President Professor James McWha said the new Centre would help put South Australian researchers at the forefront of stem cell research in Australia.
"The members of the Centre undertake internationally recognised and awarded research on areas such as the isolation of adult and cord blood stem cells, clinical applications including potential cures for stroke damage and cardiac repair, and novel approaches to diseases such as cystic fibrosis and leukaemia," said Professor McWha.