Friday, October 13, 2006

Ironic medical story of the day: Methamphetamine appears to be able to protect brain cells in the aftermath of stroke.
"Methamphetamine is a drug that has been shown to exacerbate stroke damage or make it worse when administered before a stroke," Dave Poulsen, a UM research assistant professor, said in a news release. "But we have seen roughly 80 to 90 percent protection of neurons when administered after a stroke."

...The researchers found that small amounts of meth created a protective effect, while higher doses increased damage.

They also learned that lower doses of the drug helped lessen damage up to 16 hours after a stroke. This discovery was significant because the current leading clot-busting drug used for strokes must be administered within three hours, said Poulsen, a faculty member of UM's Department of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences.