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New medication could protect the brain after a stroke

For year’s scientist have worked on medications to battle the damaging side effects of a stroke. Stroke patients often suffer debilitating side effects, including loss of motor control and speech. The specific abilities that will be lost or affected by stroke depend on the extent of the brain damage and most importantly where in the brain the stroke occurred.

Immediate medical attention is needed to lessen the damage, however, Canadian scientists believe they may be on the verge of a break-through.

The new medication

Scientists at the Toronto Western Research Institute, Krembil Neuroscience Center have developed a drug that can be given to stroke patients immediately after the attack to protect brain cells. While there are ways to potentially lower the risk of stroke, it still remains one of the most studied fields.

“We are closer to having a treatment for stroke than we have ever been before,” said Dr. Michael Tymianski, TWRI Senior Scientist and the study’s lead author. “Stroke is the leading cause of death and disability worldwide and we believe that we now have a way to dramatically reduce its damaging effects.”

While the medication is still in the testing phase, it has made it further than any other medication of its kind before. This milestone is an optimistic sign for researchers who want to get this medication into the medical world.

The medication, which is referred to as PSD95, showed remarkable results when administed less than three hours following a stroke. Brain damage was reduced and controls of body functions were preserved.

The future

“There is hope that this new drug could be used in conjunction with other treatments, such as thrombolytic agents or other means to restore blood flow to the brain, in order to further reduce the impact of stroke on patients,” said Dr. Tymianski. “These findings are extremely exciting and our next step is to confirm these results in a clinical trial.”

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