London: A new drug could reduce the risk of stroke in thousands of patients undergoing brain operations, a new study has suggested.If its benefits are proven in further studies, the treatment could have a major impact on patients undergoing a host of procedures.Small strokes are a common complication arising from operations on the brain, but injecting the drug after surgery was found to reduce the number of affected sites by 40 percent.According to experts, while strokes often cause no harm to the patient, they can be extremely serious and protecting the brain against them could prevent patients suffering severe brain damage.Researchers tested the safety of the drug, known as NA-1, on a group of 185 patients undergoing operations to remove a brain aneurysm - a bulge in an artery which can burst and cause bleeding.Since the procedure limits the blood flow to the patient’s brain, it often causes small strokes, resulting in damaged areas of brain tissue known as lesions.Patients administered the drug, which disrupts a protein linked to stroke damage, after surgery and measured the damage to patient’s brains using MRI scans.The results showed that those patients who were given the drug rather than a placebo had an average of seven lesions, or damaged sites, compared with 12 in those given a placebo.
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