Drug May Buy Time for Stroke Therapy
A critical three-hour window for effective treatment after a stroke may be extended by a new drug. The ideal therapy for stroke caused by a blocked artery is an agent called tPA that breaks up blood clots. However, if it's administered outside the 3-hour time frame, serious side effects including bleeding and a breakdown of the brain’s protective barrier can occur.,
Futurity.org quotes Berislav V. Zlokovic, professor of physiology and biophysics the University of Southern California, as saying, “What tPA does best is to break down clots in the blood vessel and restore blood flow, but it is a powerful enzyme. After three hours, tPA also damages the blood vessel and causes intracerebral bleeding. We have developed something that not only counteracts the bleeding but also reduces brain damage and significantly improves behavior after stroke. I feel very strongly that this approach will extend the therapeutic window for tPA.”
In an article published by Zlokovic and colleagues in the journal Stroke, the authors wrote: "Tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) is the only approved therapy for acute ischemic stroke. However, tPA has a brief therapeutic window. Its side effects include intracerebral bleeding and neurotoxicity. Therefore, a combination therapy with tPA and agents that can extend the therapeutic window of tPA and/or counteract its side effects are warranted . . . The 3K3A-APC extends the therapeutic window of tPA for ischemic stroke in rodents. Therefore, this combination therapy also should be considered for treating stroke in humans."