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Bat-Spit Drug May Improve Stroke Recovery

Drug Made From Vampire Bat Saliva Extends Stroke Treatment Window


By repeating MRI scans after treatment with the new clot buster, the researchers were able to show that treatment restored blood flow. The return of blood flow, to areas considered to be at risk for irreversible damage, correlated with how well stroke victims did after treatment.

Howard Rowley MD, associate professor of radiology at the University of Wisconsin Medical School and lead radiologist for the study, says the "new MRI techniques are key in helping to select the right patients for therapy."

Rowley also says that the impact of the expanded treatment window -- 9 hours vs. 3 hours -- "cannot be overstated. Buying more time to treat stroke symptoms -- and the ability to safely restore blood flow to the brain -- means we can give acute stroke victims hope for a better outcome, even if having a stroke cannot be prevented."

Michael Moskowitz, MD, director of the stroke and neurovascular regulation laboratory at Harvard Medical School, says the "three hour window is pretty severe when we are trying to get patients to treatment." He tells WebMD that a drug that can be used "as late as nine hours is extremely promising."

Moskowitz, who led a news conference where Warach presented the results, was not involved in the study.


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