Stroke patients benefit from brain cooling

A group of Scottish doctors have claimed that reducing the temperature of a stroke patient's brain could boost their chances of making a full recovery.

The research, which was conducted by Dr Malcolm Macleod, head of experimental neuroscience at the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences at the University of Edinburgh, echoes similar studies carried out in other European countries.

In fact, researchers are now considering conducting a European-wide trial of the technique - which is already used for patients who have suffered heart attacks or birth injuries.

The treatment works by reducing body temperature from 37 to 35 degrees Celsius, which puts a person into a state similar to hibernation.

Once cooled, the brain can function on a reduced blood supply, giving doctors more time to treat damaged blood vessels.

Commenting on the new technique, Dr Macloed said: "Every day 1,000 Europeans die from stroke - that's one every 90 seconds - and about twice that number survive but are disabled."

"Our estimates are that hypothermia might improve the outcome for more than 40,000 Europeans every year."

High blood pressure, which is often associated with various cardiovascular diseases, is the leading modifiable risk factor for strokes.

Health News is provided by Adfero in collaboration with Spire Healthcare. Please note that all copy is © Adfero Ltd. and does not reflect views or opinions of Spire Healthcare unless explicitly stated.

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