Antibiotic May Buy Time for Treating Stroke Victims

Patients who receive acne drug in first 23 hours show 'dramatic' improvement
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 2, 2007 9:56 AM CDT
Doctors look at brain scans.   (KRT Photos)
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(Newser) – An antibiotic commonly used to treat acne has shown promise in helping stroke victims recover. Patients who got minocycline within a day of their stroke fared markedly better than those who did not, a discovery that could open the critical window for treating stroke victims from just 3 hours to a full day, the LA Times reports.

Minocycline isn't used to treat infection in stroke patients, but rather as an anti-inflammatory that may protect neurons from the damaging materials released by dying brain cells. Researchers cautioned that the sample of stroke patients was small, but work is already under way to see whether the drug can also help Parkinson's, Huntington's and ALS patients.