Heart attack drug could also treat stroke, study finds


A heart attack drug could also treat stroke, study finds

Dr Bijoy Menon of the University of Calgary co-led the study.

According to a study published Wednesday in the British medical journal The Lancet, tenecteplase, commonly used to treat acute myocardial infarction (AMI), could also revolutionize the management of stroke patients.

The research spanned two years and was co-led by Dr. Bijoy Menon, professor at the University of Calgary and neurologist at Foothills Hospital. Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center and the University of Toronto also contributed.

According to the results of the clinical trial conducted on 1600 patients, the largest clinical trial ever conducted on stroke in Canada, tenecteplase proves to be effective for its treatment. A stroke occurs when blood flow through an artery in the brain is blocked by a blood clot.

Dr. Bijoy Menon explains that Alteplase, which is the drug commonly used to treat stroke, is certainly effective, but more difficult to administer. Its administration can take up to an hour and requires an infusion pump which, moreover, must be monitored. Whereas tenecteplase is simply administered intravenously and with almost immediate effect on the patient, he specifies.

The ease and speed with which this drug can be administered, in large hospitals, in rural hospitals, in ambulances, is its great advantage, because when it comes to saving brain cells, even seconds count tremendously,” Dr. Menon points out.

And when you treat your patients faster, they tend to fare better, and that saves lives, he adds.

< p class="e-p">As well as having the potential to revolutionize stroke treatment, the new drug could also be a lower-cost option in middle- and low-income countries, Dr. Menon notes.

Tenecteplase has been marketed in Canada since 2001 under the name Tnkase, we can also read on the Health Canada website.

André Lavoie is 60 years old and lives in Calgary. He agreed to be part of a focus group led by the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary, as part of a large study on the use for injured patients stroke from a medicine authorized for cardiac treatments.

In 2015, he was helping his wife put groceries away when a tin can slipped from his grasp and fell to the floor. I bent down to pick it up with my left arm, without succeeding, he testifies.

Faced with this unexpected situation, he remembers having exclaimed thus : Oh my God! I have a stroke. Fortunately, he explains, I had the presence of mind to go to my wife and ask her to call 911.

André Lavoie was ultimately lucky that the blood clot that was preventing blood flow to his brain cleared up on its own when the ambulance arrived. However, he continues to suffer from the after-effects of this incident, he confides.

According to him, the use of the drug to treat stroke patients was a good idea, especially since it is an injection that is easy and quick to administer. If I have another stroke, I [now] know what to ask, he says.

Dr. Menon says the drug has already been shown to be safe, but it it will be several months before it begins to be used regularly.

Carol Kenney, the nurse who coordinated the clinical trial, is already getting impatient: We say time is the brain, so the sooner we treat patients, the better.

With information from La Presse Canadian


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