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Old antibiotic may find new life as a stroke treatment
Date:5/19/2008

An old intravenous antibiotic may have new life as a stroke treatment, researchers say.

Minocycline appears to reduce stroke damage in multiple ways inhibiting white blood cells and enzymes that, at least acutely, can destroy brain tissue and blood vessels, respectively, says Dr. David Hess, chair of the Department of Neurology in the Medical College of Georgia School of Medicine. The broad-spectrum antibiotic also seems to reduce cell suicide in the minutes and hours following a stroke, enabling more cells to recover.

He and other researchers leading a clinical trial that will study the drug in 60 stroke patients in Georgia, Kentucky and Oregon say they believe the antibiotic will be a safe, effective adjunct therapy for tPA, the only FDA-approved drug therapy for strokes.

Its a safe drug that is easy to give and tolerate, that gets into the brain well, and may reduce bleeding, the primary side effect of tPA, says Dr. Hess, principal investigator on the $1.8 million National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke-funded clinical trial. We think it will make strokes smaller and patient outcomes better.

Their animal studies have shown the drug, given within six hours of a stroke, then every 12 hours for up to three days - the peak time of inflammation - reduces stroke damage by up to 40 percent.

We know its safe in humans and we know the concentrations we need to see improvement in the brains of rats can be achieved safely in humans, says Dr. Susan C. Fagan, professor of pharmacy at the University of Georgia, assistant dean for the MCG program of the UGA College of Pharmacy and study co-investigator. Thats an important consideration.

The drugs safety and optimal stroke dose are the primary focus of the phase-one clinical trial in stroke patients who arrive at MCG, University of Kentucky or Oregon Health & Science University within six hours of symptom onset and with measurable neurological symptom
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Contact: Toni Baker
tbaker@mcg.edu
706-721-8596
Medical College of Georgia
Source:Eurekalert  

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