A new version of the diabetes drug glyburide may help prevent deadly brain swelling in patients with a devastating stroke.

During a stroke, fluid can build up in the brain when a clot blocks one of the large arteries of the brain. The fluid causes extreme swelling and brain tissue shifts that can be deadly. The only proven treatment is surgery to open the skull and relieve the swelling.

In a preliminary study, researchers injected the new drug in 10 patients at risk of the swelling. Two of the patients still developed the condition. Typically, about nine out of 10 similar stroke patients who don’t receive the drug develop brain swelling.

Researchers said more trials are needed to better understand the safety and value of the drug.

 

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