New drug 'could make brain surgery a safer procedure'

8 October 2012

Patients who undergo brain surgery could reduce their risk of suffering a stroke as a result of the procedure with the aid of a new drug.

Research published in the Lancet journal has highlighted how a drug known as NA-1 reduced the risks that people have when undergoing an operation to remove a brain aneurysm.

A brain aneurysm is a bulge in an artery that is at risk of bursting and causing bleeding, but the procedure to remove it limits the blood flow to the patient's brain and can result in small strokes.

However, the research found that those given NA-1 after surgery had an average of seven lesions, or damaged sites, compared to 12 lesions in patients who received a placebo.

Study leader Professor Michael Hill, from the University of Calgary, commented: "Our research, which builds on existing animal studies, suggests that intravenous infusion of NA-1 reduces tissue damage in patients who suffer a small stroke after an operation to repair a brain aneurysm, and further research is now needed to investigate the efficacy of neuroprotection in larger clinical trials."

Posted by Jeanette Royston

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