June 4, 2014 – Stroke Medication Risk

May 30, 2014

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ANCHOR LEAD:  AMONG THOSE WHO’VE HAD A STROKE, WHO SHOULD USE CLOT-BUSTING MEDICATION? ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

Medication to break up blood clots is a big success story in the stroke world, with those in whom the drugs have been used suffering far less disability.  But some people shouldn’t be given this medication. Now a study by Richard Leigh, a stroke expert at Johns Hopkins, and colleagues, is helping identify those who may benefit by examining the blood-brain barrier, a system in the brain that normally keeps things away from sensitive nerve cells.

LEIGH: What was somewhat unexpected or at least something that came out that was not completely anticipated was that small amounts of blood brain barrier damage appeared to be okay, whereas larger amounts of blood brain barrier damage put you at risk of hemorrhage.  Using this technique we were able to quantify that and show that the more blood brain barrier damage you had the more likely you were to have a hemorrhage, and we identified a threshold, which had it been applied to this population, would have prevented hemorrhages with 95% accuracy.  :28

At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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