Posted on 08/10/2012

New Drug Could Help to Prevent Stroke Damage

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New Drug Could Help to Prevent Stroke Damage

Could NA-1 Drug Aid Stroke Damage?

According to doctors in the United States and Canada, it could be possible to use a drug to prevent some of the crippling and lasting damage caused by a stroke.

A trial which was published in the Lancet Neurology medical journal, suggested that the chemical NA-1 was safe to use in such cases.

The study, which was carried out on 185 people also highlighted that patients who were given the drug developed fewer regions of damaged brain tissue and although charities such as The Stroke Association agree that the results were promising, much more research is needed.

The human trials were carried out at 14 hospitals across the States and Canada. The patients who took part were undergoing surgical procedures to repair brain aneurysms, a weakened blood vessel with the chance of rupture which put them at increased risk of a stroke.

92 patients were injected with the drug, whilst the remaining 93 were injected with a placebo of salty water. Doctors concluded that the NA-1 drug was safe – with only two patients out of those tested suffering from mild side effects.

Brain scans showed that fewer brain lesions and damaged areas of brain tissue formed in the patients who were given the NA-1 drug.

What have medical professionals said about this stroke study?

Medical professionals who were involved in the study said that "neuroprotection is achievable", giving many hope for the future but stressed that "a larger trial is necessary to investigate the robustness of the effect".

Prof Markku Kaste, from Helsinki University Central Hospital, said: "Age is the greatest risk factor for stroke. Because of the ageing global population, the number of strokes will increase."

He added that previous trials which had used drugs to protect the brain had resulted in failure, reinforcing the fact that the NA-1 drug needed to be assessed in much larger clinical trials before its true effectiveness was known.

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