People who were taking all three drugs had less severe strokes, had shorter hospital stays, and were better able to function when leaving the hospital than those who were taking one, two, or none of the three drugs.
The study examined 179 people who came to the hospital within 24 hours after having a stroke. Researchers looked at how severe the strokes were, how much brain cell damage was caused by the stroke, and other factors. The participants were divided into five groups: 69 people were taking none of the three drugs; 47 people were taking aspirin only; 29 were taking aspirin and ACE inhibitors, or blood pressure drugs; 14 were taking aspirin and statins, or cholesterol-lowering drugs; and 20 people were taking all three drugs.
The study also found that even though the amount of initial brain cell damage was roughly equal, on average, among the five groups, the amount of brain cells that were still at risk of damage at the time of hospital admission was smaller among those taking all three drugs.
Lack of normal blood flow to brain cells sets off a chain reaction. Brain cells in a progressively larger area are endangered as blood flow is reduced. Quick medical treatment is the best chance to save this region of brain cells, called the penumbra.
"It's possible that these three drugs work synergistically to reduce the amount of brain tissue that is damaged in the penumbra by improving blood flow," said study author and neurologist Magdy Selim, MD, PhD, of Harvard Medical School and Co-Director of the Stroke Center of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, MA. "These results need to be confirmed before this triple therapy would be rec
Contact: Robin Stinnett
American Academy of Neurology