To reduce the risk of stroke, partial blockage of arteries in the brain (intracranial stenosis) has for decades been treated with drugs such as aspirin and warfarin that reduce blood clotting. However, doctors have never had good evidence for choosing one therapy over the other. Now, results of a double-blind, randomized clinical trial show for the first time that aspirin works as well as warfarin with fewer side effects. The study was funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
"This trial is good news. A simple low-cost drug works just as well as one that requires complicated and expensive monitoring and dose adjustments," says John R. Marler, M.D., the Associate Director for Clinical Trials at NINDS. The study appears in the March 31, 2005, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
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