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Epilepsy Drug May Help Reduce Brain Damage from Stroke

Posted on February 15, 2016 by Disability Help Group

There is only one medication approved by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to help ischemic stroke patients avoid severe brain damage; this is a potentially dangerous blood thinner. Many stroke survivors are unable to take tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) due to its blood thinning properties and potential for serious side effects.

Researchers at the School of Medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio recently completed a study looking for alternative medications to help reduce stroke-related brain damage. The team published its findings in The Journal of Neuroscience, identifying a drug that could have a new purpose in helping victims of ischemic stroke.

Retigabine (marketed as Ezogabine) is an anticonvulsant approved by the FDA to treat epilepsy. The research team led by Dr. Sonya Bierbower thought that it also could help halt the activity that caused brain tissue damage.

Dr. Bierbower’s team is now focusing on clinical trials to specifically test retigabine’s effectiveness as a stroke therapy. Still, because it is an FDA approved drug, doctors can use it off-label for stroke patient treatment.

According to Dr. David F. Jimenez, chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center, “As a leading cause of death and disability, stroke poses a major risk to our society. It is very exciting to see that our collaborative work with our colleagues in physiology could provide a superb way to ameliorate the harmful effects of stroke on our patients.”

Stroke is one of the more common disabling conditions that can prevent a person from working and earning a substantial income. If you or a loved one suffered a stroke and can no longer work, contact the Social Security disability team at  Disability Help Group. Our disability associates are here to help appeal claims denied by the Social Security Administration, all us at 1-(800)-800-3332.