Page last updated: Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Coffee and alcohol for stroke victims.
In a study on rats, a coffee and alcohol combination know as caffeinol given within 3 hours of an artery supplying blood to the brain being blocked was shown to reduce damage by up to 80%. It delivers the potency of 2 cups of strong coffee and an alcoholic drink, although neither caffeine nor alcohol were protective on their own. Treating and looking after the 140,000 stroke victims a year costs the NHS in Britain an estimated £2.3 billion. The experimental drug has been shown to be safe in a pilot study of patients suffering from ischaemic stroke where a clot blocks blood going into the brain and the findings were reported in the Stroke Journal of the American Heart Association.

In the study on humans, lead by Professor James Grotta, a team at the University of Texas gave the treatment to 16 females and 17 male stroke victims with an average age of 71. The aim of this study was to see if they could safely achieve the same blood levels of caffeinol that were achieved in the animal studies. Professor Grotta said, "We discovered that we could use even lower doses than we used in the animal studies and achieve the blood levels that were neuro-protective in animals". Caffeinol can be safely administered to patients also receiving traditional ‘clot-busting’ drugs used to treat strokes.Professor Grotta said a "randomised placebo-controlled trial" was needed to determine the extent of caffeinol’s protective effect in humans. He is planning a study combining caffeinol with thermo-cooling in stroke patients. Other studies have suggested that cooling the brain might limit stroke damage.

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