New stroke treatment could reduce brain damage by 40 per cent

Dr Diego Milani is conducting research into a new peptide-based treatment
that could reduce brain damage by up to 40 per cent

22 May 2017

New research into the treatment of stroke indicates that a simple injection – that can be administered on-the-spot by paramedics – could reduce brain damage by up to 40 per cent.

The peptide-based treatment could provide a new frontier in the treatment of stroke and its devastating consequences for more than 60,000 Australians each year, according to researchers at Notre Dame University and the Perron Institute.

Currently, life-saving stroke treatment can only be administered in hospitals which often leads to delays as patients are ferried over long distances to hospital facilities.

“The research findings highlight the possibility that a simple injection of a new peptide, composed of the amino acid arginine and administered within 40 minutes of the onset of the stroke could significantly reduce brain damage,” said Notre Dame University PhD researcher, Dr Diego Milani, who is leading the research program.

“It could be particularly effective in remote and rural areas as stroke sufferers could get immediate attention from paramedics.

“I hope to one day see the treatment carried in every ambulance in the country as, currently, almost 90 per cent of stroke sufferers do not receive any treatment before they get to hospital,” added Dr Milani.

Laboratory studies have so far shown no visible side effects to the treatment. Clinical trials, to be conducted in the next few years, will not only assess the effectiveness of the peptide in treating brain injury, but also chronic neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. This therapy is still to be approved.

The only available treatment for stroke currently is a drug called tPA, administered alone or in combination with a thrombectomy – a small stent inserted into a blood vessel to open up the flow of blood again – which can only be carried out in a hospital.


Leigh Dawson: Tel (08) 9433 0569; Mob 0405 441 093;