According to a study done on 179 stroke patients, it was found that triple drug therapy helped people suffer less brain damage when they had stroke. The three drug a clot-preventing drug such as aspirin, an ACE inhibitor for blood pressure control, and a cholesterol-lowering statin. It is thought that these drugs work synergistically to reduce the amount of brain tissue that is damaged.
Dr. Magdy Selim, a neurologist at Harvard Medical School and co-director of the Stroke Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, in Boston said that 65% on triple therapy showed improvement of brain function. The researchers used imaging techniques and the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale, which assesses 15 measures of brain damage, to determine the loss of function caused by the stroke. Patients taking all three drugs had higher scores on the stroke scale but they were discharged from the hospital a day sooner than those taking only aspirin and three days sooner than those taking none of the drugs.
Triple drug therapy patients showed lower risk of brain cell damage. Selim said that the three drugs may work together to improve blood flow thereby limiting the damage. But further research is necessary before the triple therapy could be recommended for everyone at high risk of stroke. Dr. Tanya N. Turan, an assistant professor of neurology at Emory University School of medicine, said that a big, randomized clinical trial is needed to show that the triple therapy protects against stroke damage.