FDA approves device to diagnose strokes

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NEW YORK (CBS) Stroke is a leading cause of disability in the United States, according to the American Stroke Association. And a new device to quickly diagnose cases of severe stroke has just received the green light from the FDA.

Sixty-seven year old Oliver Peart is getting back to his routine after a major health scare.

Reporter Nikki Battiste: I would never have known you had a stroke
Oliver Peart: I think I made a full recovery. And the problem is just with the eye.

Eight months ago he was at work when suddenly he couldn't move the left side of his body. He was rushed to the emergency room where doctors used a portable, wireless visor to determine he suffered a severe stroke. The Cerebrotech Visor transmits low-power radio waves through the brain looking for changes in blood flow. It takes just 30 seconds to analyze the fluids.

"The big thing about a stroke is that there's asymmetry when one of the arteries feeding one side of the brain is blocked compared to the other side. So, we can detect that with this visor," said Dr. Christopher Kellner, Director of the Intracerebral Hemorrhage Program at Mount Sinai Hospital.

Dr. Kellner says the goal of the visor technology is to help quickly identify patients who have had a severe stroke so they can receive immediate treatment. "Time is brain. As someone is having a stroke, they're losing many, many neurons every second. And so anytime we can decrease from that is very important," he said.

"My brain functioning starting to go south, you know. And it was really scary," Peart said. He says he's grateful he was treated at an ER testing the new technology. "The type of stroke I had, a lot of time the patient doesn't survive so you know, I'm lucky.

He says the only lingering side effect is some vision loss in his left eye.