Aspirin OK for brain bleed stroke patients

Aspirin OK for brain bleed stroke patients

 

Monday, 3 June, 2019

Prof Rustam Al-Shahi Salman (Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences) and colleagues have recently conducted a clinical trial, tracking 537 people from across the UK who had suffered a brain haemorrhage while they were taking medicines to stop blood clotting. The everyday treatments, known as antiplatelet medicines, work by slowly or stopping blood from clotting. Around half of the participants underwent an additional brain scan using MRI at the beginning of the study.

Doctors previously thought the medicines, which include aspirin and clopidogrel, might make people with stroke due to brain haemorrhage more likely to suffer another bleed in the brain. The team however found that people who took antiplatelet medicines experienced fewer recurrences of brain haemorrhage compared with those who did not take them, suggesting that the treatments reduce rather than increase risk of further bleeding in the brain. Further studies would be needed to confirm this. 

Prof Salman says, "The results of the RESTART trial are reassuring for survivors of brain haemorrhage who need to take antiplatelet medicines to prevent heart attacks and strokes. I am keen to investigate the possibility that these medicines might halve the risk of brain haemorrhage happening again."