An ischemic stroke happens when a clot blocks blood flow to the brain. Patients can be left without the ability to function on their own. Now, a new study shows patients who are on statin therapy when they have a stroke appear to regain more functional independence than those not on the drug.
For the study, researchers evaluated the outcomes of 167 stroke patients. Thirty had been treated with statins and 137 had not. The independence and functional level was about the same for all patients at the time of their stroke.
Three months after having a stroke, the patients on the statins had a significantly better recovery. Specifically, 77 percent of the stroke survivors who had been taking statins were living without significant disability compared to 52 percent of those not taking statins.
Researchers say their results do not recommend beginning statin therapy at the onset of stroke, but rather points out to the need for a randomized controlled trial with statins in the acute stages of ischemic stroke because they are convinced that statins do benefit patients with ischemic stroke, and statins appear to be safe.