layout: post title: CTV Calgary- Vampire bats and stroke treatment - CTV News categories:

Vampire bats could hold the key to a new treatment for stroke patients.

A new study in Calgary will look at how bat saliva may offer up a way of breaking up a blood clot that is causing a stroke.

When a vampire bat bites a cow, it injects a protein that keeps the blood flowing instead of clotting.

The property contained in that bat saliva protein is now being used in a new clot-busting drug called Desmontaplaise.

The study is being done in several centres, including Calgary, and doctors plan to recruit stroke patients who were not able to get the current drug of choice – TPA.

Researchers are hoping to answer key questions like, “Does this drug open the artery faster, and more consistently, than TPA,” says Dr. Michael Hill, a stroke specialist at the Foothills Hospital.

TPA is typically given intravenously within the first three hours of the onset of stroke symptoms.

The patients taking part in the new drug trial will be treated with Desmontapliaise up to nine hours after the onset of symptoms.

The main risk associated with stroke treatment drugs is uncontrolled bleeding and that is still a concern with the new drug.

Another concern researchers have is the reaction people may have to this new treatment. “TPA is a human molecule but [the new drug] is an animal molecule so one possibility is immune reaction,’ says Dr Hill.

Despite the new drug trials, experts say it’s still crucial that stroke patients get treatment as early as possible.

To know what signs and symptoms to look out for when it comes to strokes, click on the link to the right.


Cool… or not?