Study consents aspirin use for haemorrhagic stroke patients

June 3, 2019

Many people take antiplatelet medicines such as aspirin and clopidogrel to thin blood clots which could otherwise lead to a heart attack or stroke. Antiplatelet medicines were thought to cause repeated brain haemorrhages (bleeding), but a recent clinical trial proves their safety and that they do not increase risks of a secondary stroke.

The “RESTART” trial, funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF), had researchers from Scotland’s University of Edinburgh tracking over 530 brain haemorrhage patients around the region. The patients were either placed on antiplatelet treatment or did without it for five years. Most underwent an MRI brain scan – often used by doctors to check for microbleeds, which are warning signs of future strokes. The team noted that the former bunch experienced fewer recurrences of brain haemorrhage compared to the latter who did not take the treatment – only 12 people suffered a bleed while on the blood-clotting medication.

The results are reassuring for survivors of brain haemorrhage who need antiplatelet medicines, according to Professor Rustam Salman of the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences, as these treatments do not cause further bleeding in the brain and so, is less hazardous for people who already had microbleeds.

Moreover, the results indicate that patients can forgo an MRI scan before starting treatment, and this is especially important because the elderly, who are very susceptible to brain bleeds, are unable to have an MRI.

The UK records about 36,000 deaths yearly from stroke. Professor Metin Avkiran, Associate Medical Director at BHF opinions that, “Every advance from important research such as this is crucial new information for both patients and doctors and is a step closer to better stroke prevention and management.”


Category: Education, Features

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