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Clear the Way: Stenting opens jammed arteries in the brain

By pushing a tiny mesh cylinder called a stent through blood vessels leading from the groin to the head, doctors can prop open narrowed arteries in the brain much as they do in the heart, several new studies show.

A brain artery that's partially blocked because of atherosclerosis is a stroke waiting to happen. While blood thinners such as aspirin and warfarin can ease blood flow through narrowed brain vessels, roughly one-fifth of patients with severe narrowing who get these drugs still suffer a stroke or brain hemorrhage or die of a vascular problem within 2 years.

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