(HealthDay News) – An investigational drug that disrupts neurotoxic signaling pathways is safe and effective in reducing strokes in patients undergoing surgery for a brain aneurysm, according to a study published online Oct 8 in The Lancet Neurology.

Building on previous results in primates, Michael D Hill, MD, from the University of Calgary in Canada, and colleagues randomly assigned 185 patients with ruptured or unruptured intracranial aneurysm amenable to endovascular repair to intravenous infusion with NA-1 (an inhibitor of postsynaptic density-95 protein) or saline after surgery.

Based on magnetic resonance imaging 12–95 hours later, the researchers found that the two groups had statistically similar lesion volumes. However, the NA-1 group had fewer ischemic infarcts (adjusted incidence rate ratio, 0.53–0.59, depending on the imaging method). There were no serious adverse events attributable to NA-1.

“Our findings from this proof-of-concept trial suggest that a neuroprotectant can be used to reduce tissue damage after stroke,” Hill and colleagues conclude. “However, the validity of the neuroprotection hypothesis and its potential application to improve clinical outcomes should be assessed in a larger study with clinical end points.”

The study was funded by NoNO Inc. and Arbor Vita Corp.; several authors are employed or contracted by NoNO.

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