Blood clot breakthrough could save stroke victims 18



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Melbourne researchers are investigating a new way to treat heart attack and stroke that takes the clot-busting treatment right to the source.

The hope is to develop a more effective emergency treatment that can be administered by paramedics and provide better outcomes, particularly for stroke victims.

The research is at a very early stage but is promising, says Professor Christoph Hagemeyer at the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute.

The new treatment uses nanotechnology to deliver medication right to the source. The researchers have developed a nano-capsule that hones in on a blood clot, then breaks it down.

The capsule is so small, it can be administered intravenously.

“This can be given in the ambulance straight away so you really save a lot of time and restore the blood flow to the critical organs much faster than currently possible,” saidDr Hagemeyer.

The new treatment is preferable to existing treatments.

“[It’s] especially critical for stroke because the drugs have a lot of side-effects at the moment,” Dr Hagemeyer told the ABC.

About 55,000 Australians experience heart attack or stroke every year, however half of them cannot use the current treatments in place.

The new nano-capsule contains an antibody that targets platelets, which are what causes blood clots.

“The antibody we’re using is specially designed to fly to these blood platelets so it really seeks out the clot,” Dr Hagemeyer explains.

The nano-capsule quickly breaks down once it has located the clot and delivers the medication to break it down.

Dr Hagemeyer said the method paramedics currently administer has side-effects.

“They administer drugs which is also very fast-acting, but because it’s free in the blood stream everywhere it causes side-effects like bleeding because it’s also attacking older clots,” he said.

“So, the trick we have is that it’s only acting when you have an acute event and when the clot is growing exponentially and blocking the vessel, that’s when our drug is released. In other areas it’s not released.”

Dr Hagemeyer has been working on this incredible new treatment for more than five years, but it will be another five before it can be brought to patients.

Have you or someone you loved experienced a stroke or heart attack? Did you suffer any side effects from the medication? How do you feel about nanotechnology?

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  1. How do you no if it is a blood clot or a bleed with out a MR I .?

    1 REPLY
    • When my Dad had a stroke in the UK we were told that he had to have a scan to determine if it was a clot or a bleed. Then they can administer clot busting (thrombolytic) medication but this has to be done in the 3 to 6 hour window after the stroke. So an early scan is essential.

  2. Excellent idea. My hubby had two heart attacks two days apart in 2010 and required a stent inserted after the second one. He’s fine now but it was very worrying at the time.

  3. I have just spoken to Dr. Christoph Hagemeyer @ Baker IDI, unfortunately , “human guinea pigs” are unable to undergo this treatment , which is disappointing to hear & approval is several years away 🙁

  4. Liz Laslett…..just saw this article….!!!! hope you are coping well and had a good nights rest…senfing BIG HUGS…XXX

  5. forget that article Liz…..still in research mode not available for several years…sorry…!!!!

  6. Now this is exciting. This is where Nano technology comes into its own! May this work and be available sooner rather than later.

  7. ALWAYS IN LIMBO THESE RESEARCHES !!!!!! Why not wait when it’s officially on the market to announce whatever remedies ( strokes/diabetes ETC…) ???????!!!!!!! WHY FOR GOODNESS SAKE talk about it when we have to wait for 10 years to be able to get access to the medication or treatment ???? yes it does take that Long we all know that. We are sick and tired to hear from news that’s not going to benefit anyone at the present time so yes we are all happy that they have discovered some cure for some illnesses for the near future but ……..!!!!! Please, stop blabbing about it until it’s on the market and people can buy it otherwise there’s no point .

  8. Australia should be very proud of its medical researchers, they are really leading edge. This is a great innovation that will no doubt save many lives. It probably needs to be supplied in a form easily carried by those at risk so it can be administered asap after an event.

  9. the usual side effects,excessive bleeding from a simple scratch in the garden,blood noses,but as much as they were a nuisance,it was important to keep the stent clear of unwanted clots,medicine is really going ahead in leaps and bounds

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