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Triple cocktail to tackle stroke risk

Scientists at The University of Nottingham are to investigate whether giving recovering stroke patients a triple cocktail of medicines could reduce their chances of a further attack.

Pioneering research has already shown that giving patients two medicines — aspirin and dipyridamole — can lower the risk of further stroke by thinning the blood to prevent the clots that can block blood flow to the brain.

Now researchers in the University’s Division of Stroke Medicine have been awarded £233,283 in funding by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) to study whether adding a third medicine called clopidogel is safe and even more effective than giving the two medicines alone.

The team, led by Professor Philip Bath, will study 350 stroke patients over a three year period — some of whom will be given the two usual medicines and some of whom will receive the new triple combination — to discover whether their recovery is improved by the inclusion of clopidogrel.

Professor Bath said: “Paraphrasing from Animal Farm, if 2 drugs are good then three might be better. If the trial is successful, the drugs are already available and could be introduced very soon and at very little extra cost.”

The research is just one project to be funded through a £3.5 million boost from the BHF for research into the causes, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of heart disease.

Professor Jeremy Pearson, Associate Medical Director at the BHF said: “Thanks to the generous support from fundraisers and volunteers in the East Midlands, we can invest in this top notch heart research.”

“Each project solves a piece of the puzzle of heart and circulatory disease. We urge people to continue donating time and money so that we can find solutions for prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the UK’s biggest killer.”

Emma Thorne | alfa
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