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Scientists say they can stop stroke from causing brain damage
10.09.2012Previous studies have shown that stroke - the third leading cause of death in the U.S. - begins to damage the brain within minutes of its onset. Its effects, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, can include paralysis, altered speech and emotional imbalance.
However, researchers from the Calgary Stroke Program from Foothills Medical Centre and the University of Calgary have releasing findings showing that a drug called Tat-NR2B9c (NA-1) may prevent a stroke from causing brain damage. Their report has been published in the Lancet Neurology.
"The results of this clinical trial represent a major leap forward for stroke research," said study leader Michael Hill. "There have been over 1,000 attempts to develop such drugs, which have failed to make the leap between success in the lab and in humans."
To conduct this clinical trial, the drug was given to brain aneurysm patients experiencing small strokes as a result of neurointerventional repair treatments. The entire set of patients who were administered NA-1 displayed substantially less brain damage following their treatments. Meanwhile, treatment outcomes were poor for more than 30 percent of a control group given placebos.
According to estimates provided by the Internet Stroke Center, almost 800,000 U.S. residents a year require urgent medical care from emergency department physicians for stroke, and the interruption of blood flow to the brain is the most prevalent cause of ongoing disability in the nation. The condition of hypertension increases the risk of stroke more than any other factor, and smoking doubles the odds that an individual will need immediate care for a stroke.
News provider checks into neuropreventive breakthrough
The Calgary Herald, reporting on this drug, spoke with head researcher Michael Hill. The clinician said NA-1 may enable emergency surgeons to take more time to reconstitute blood flow to the brain following a stroke, which would reduce the amount of damage a patient's brain could incur.
The news provider also chronicles the experience of Millie Nelles, a Canadian placement agency worker, one of the study participants who was given the NA-1 before brain aneurysm repair surgery.
"When I found out it was the real drug, I honestly know this drug saved my life," Nelles said to the Calgary Herald. "It's just an amazing feeling. I feel like through this, I can help others."
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