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September 4, 2019updated 23 Dec 2019 9:33am

NIH kick starts hunt for neuroprotective stroke treatments

The US National Institute of Health (NIH) has launched a search for neuroprotective therapies to reduce ischemic brain injury.

The US National Institute of Health (NIH) has launched a search for neuroprotective therapies to reduce ischemic brain injury.

The US National Institute of Health (NIH) has launched a search for neuroprotective therapies to reduce ischemic brain injury.

The NIH will fund a preclinical trial platform that will test treatments for ischemic stroke in rodents. Over the next three years, it will give $4m for the network.

Under the Stroke Preclinical Assessment Network (SPAN), seven labs will work in tandem with each other and make use of different clinical trial practices to assess the effectiveness of the six neuroprotective therapies.

NIH National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke director Walter J Koroshetz said: “Our primary goal is to identify the most promising treatments for testing in patients with clinical trials. In the long term, we hope that this approach will increase the chance of success in pairing a brain saving treatment with the current practice of clot removal used to treat patients with potentially fatal or disabling stroke.”

The existing treatments for ischemic brain injury dissolve clot using blood thinner injections or direct extraction of the clot.

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Studies have shown that there is a possibility of damage before or during these procedures.

Recent reports have suggested that some labs fail in replicating the preclinical treatments in humans. To tackle this, the NIH has been working on a project entitled Rigor and Reproducibility to make the preclinical trial results to be more like those of clinical trials.

NINDS Program director Francesca Bosetti said: “This SPAN trial will take the principles laid out in NIH’s Rigor and Reproducibility guidelines one step further. The network will use clinical trial practices and standards to search for the neuroprotective stroke therapies that have the greatest potential for working in humans.”

In June this year, the NIH agreed to fund clinical trials investigating the practicality and effectiveness of using genomics data as part of treatments for chronic diseases.

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