OCT 30, 2019 11:24 AM PDT

Can Aspirin Prevent a Brain Bleed?

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

Can aspirin prevent a brain bleed? To answer the questions, researchers rummaged through a database system looking to see an association between aspirin use and the likelihood of developing a growth in intracranial aneurysm. They identified 146 patients who had been observed for five years and who had multiple intracranial aneurysms that is at least five millimeters or less in diameter. They examined that these patients were on aspirin and had a decreased rate of aneurysm growth.

In the study, "Aspirin associated with decreased rate of intracranial aneurysm growth," by Mario Zanaty, M.D., and colleagues, authors explain that the growth in aneurysm results in its rupture and a ruptured aneurysm means a brain bleed. Specifically, an intracranial aneurysm is a cerebrovascular disorder where the wall of an artery has weakened and bulged outward. Researchers note that, "to date, there is no medical treatment to arrest aneurysm growth and subsequent progression to rupture." In the United States alone, roughly 30,000 people experience a ruptured aneurysm rupture that often leads to substantial disability and even death. Larger aneurysms are likely to rupture than smaller ones.

Learn more about an intracranial aneurysm:

Findings of the study were observational and published in the Journal of Neurosurgery and indicates some evidence regarding aspirin reducing the risk of an aneurysm rupture. It is believed it does so because of the anti-inflammatory properties. Researchers believe that any confirming studies should be interventional.

"This study is very promising, as it outlines for the first time the potential therapeutic effect of aspirin in decreasing aneurysm growth. If proven in a larger study, this could offer the first, cheap, effective over-the-counter therapeutic agent that could halt aneurysm growth and prevent rupture. Many people around the world could benefit from this,” says Dr. David M. Hasan, M.D.

Source: Science Daily

About the Author
BS/MS
Nouran is a scientist, educator, and life-long learner with a passion for making science more communicable. When not busy in the lab isolating blood macrophages, she enjoys writing on various STEM topics.
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