Stroke patients in the North East are to be invited to take part in a trial aimed at giving them treatment earlier.
Paramedics with the North East Ambulance Service will soon be able to start a drug treatment before patients reach hospital.
The aim of the study, which will run in the North of Tyne area, will be to see if it is possible for paramedics to safely lower high blood pressure.
It will run for a year and aims to recruit 60 patients.
Director of the Stroke Research Network at Newcastle University, Professor Gary Ford, said: "It is vital for someone who has had a stroke that they are treated as quickly as possible to stop extensive and lasting damage being caused.
"With this new trial we are seeing whether ambulance paramedics can start treatment to reduce blood pressure before patients reach hospital.
"Lower blood pressure may reduce the extent of brain damage and allow clot-busting drugs to be used more safely."
The study is a project between Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trusts and the North East Ambulance Service NHS Trust.