Researchers at the University of South Florida say that lab experiments have shown that a cheap, commonly used antibiotic could revolutionize stroke treatment. They say that the use of minocycline immediately after a stroke has the potential of reducing the destruction of brain cells by as much as two thirds.
Injecting the antibiotic after a stroke and for several days afterwards reduces swelling and guards cells from the havoc caused by stroke--where blood clots starve brain cells of vitally needed oxygen. Up to 80 percent of nerve cells survived a stroke in lab and animal tests, twice the rate of survival in cases left untreated. And the antibiotic is already commonly used for acne and arthritis. Stroke is a leading cause of death around the world.
"The safety and therapeutic efficacy of low dose minocycline and its robust neuroprotective effects during acute ischemic stroke make it an appealing drug candidate for stroke therapy," says Dr. Cesar V. Borlongan. "An on-going Phase I clinical study funded by the National Institutes of Health is exploring the use of intravenous minocycline to treat acute ischemic stroke."