Tuesday, May 27, 2008

LifeSaver Drug After Ischemic Strokes

The drug t-PA has been a lifesaver after ischemic strokes, dissolving clots blocking blood flow to the brain and thus minimizing brain injury and aiding in long-term recovery. But it is only if given within 3 hours of onset. An experimental drug, NXY-059, can double that wondow to 6 hours by helping to keep brain cells alive until t-PA can be given.

In a study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, patients were started on treatment with either the drug or placebo, within 6 hours of stroke onset. Three months later, 4 percent more of patients in the treatment group had fully recovered, and the group overall had somewhat less disability. Considering the lasting damage strokes can cause even these modest improvement are important. (Source: RD-June 2008)

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