A drug that is commonly used for leukemia has now proved to be effective in reducing stroke damage.

A drug commonly used for blood cancer disease leukemia has been shown to be able to slow down the disabling effects of stroke. It shows a new study at Karolinska Institute, supported by the Heart-Lung Foundation. The study was conducted by Nils Wahlgren, Professor of Neurology at Karolinska Institute.

The study can lead to a whole new stroke treatment strategy and may change the lives of millions of people worldwide.

Nils Wahlgren’s research will reduce suffering and increase the quality of life for those who suffer from the stroke. For example, I am thinking of the growing group of younger people who get strokes and have long lives to live, Secretary General of the Heart-Lung Foundation.

The injuries heal better

In a stroke, the brain is exposed to leakage of cells and substances from the bloodstream.

In our study we have managed to prevent leakage harmful impact on brain cells,” explains Nils Wahlgren.

The agent reduces the number of blood components entering the brain and can cause damage and swelling.

We have seen that the drug has a very significant effect on the neurological symptoms, such as paralysis, numbness, visual impairment, emotional impairment and balance difficulties. These injuries heal much better and the higher doses we used, the better the results. The treatment doubles the neurological improvement after seven days compared with the control group, which received only thrombolysis and, if necessary, thrombectomy, i.e. mechanical blood clot removal.

Stress increases the risk

Thrombolysis is a method of drug dissolving a blood clot that clogs into a blood vessel. It should be given as early as possible, within 3-4 hours, later the risk of bleeding increases and the benefit of treatment decreases.

The new treatment can be effective even if it starts after a day. This will further illustrate the research team in future studies.

What is the reason why more and more young people suffer from the stroke?

Diabetes type 2 goes down in the ages and obesity is a major problem. Untreated heart flares also entail a very high risk. According to many researchers, stress also plays a major role, says Nils Wahlgren.

Risk factors for stroke

  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Fibrillation
  • Overweight
  • Lack of exercise

What is actually stroke?

Stroke is a collective name for brain infarction and brain bleeding. Brain infarction is the common cause and accounts for 90 percent of all stroke cases. The infarction is usually caused by a blood clot tapping a blood vessel. Brain bleeding is due to the fact that a blood vessel inside the brain is broken. Every year, approximately 30,000 people in Sweden suffer from stroke, half of whom die or have severe disabilities. But there are also those who are completely restored. Stroke often manifests itself as a sudden numbness or paralysis of one side of the body.

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