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We have made great progress in treating stroke, but it still remains a major cause of death and disability." Prof Malcolm MacLeod, Professor of Neurology and Translational Neuroscience
Researchers say that up to half of stroke patients suffer high temperatures following their illness and a third contract infections that increase their risk of death and disability.
Around a quarter of patients have difficulty swallowing and face an increased risk of choking as a result.
The initiative will involve almost 4000 patients from across Europe.
It will test whether offering drugs immediately following a stroke reduces the risk of these complications occurring.
Patients aged 66 years or older will be randomly allocated to receive either preventative treatment in the first four days of their hospitalisation, or to standard care.
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Source: Roslin Biocentre