Stroke drug can improve quality of life: Study

Last Updated: Jun 21, 2013, 20:19 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau

Edinburgh: Patients treated with a clot-busting drug within six hours of a stroke are likely to have a better chance of long-lasting recovery, suggests an international study.

The international study led by the University of Edinburgh found that patients, who were administered drug rt-PA within six hours of a stroke, were able to look at themselves 18 months afterwards. The trial was conducted on more than 3000 patients from 12 countries who have had an ischaemic stroke, a condition when the brain’s blood supply is interrupted by a clot.

According to the researchers, people who took rt-PA had better mobility and experienced less pain and discomfort than those who did not. The treatment is also said to have reduced the number of patients who needed help from other people, from 51% to 43%.

Chief investigator Professor Peter Sandercock, of the University’s Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences, said, “The trial team is delighted that, even for the elderly, rt-PA significantly improves life after stroke in the longer term.”

“Our results underline the benefits of treating patients with the drug as soon as possible and justify extending treatment to those aged 80 and over. We hope that these new data will encourage wider use.”

The latest study was published in the Lancet Neurology journal.

The study was funded by the UK and Australian governments, the UK Stroke Association, the Medical Research Council and Health Foundation UK.