Source:  BBC Health News -Scotland

And you thought all the Scots were good for was Scotch and skirts?  Dr. Malcolm Macleod (of the clan Macleod) is one of several Scottish physicians supporting the idea of cooling the brains of stroke victims –a process which a growing body of research suggests may dramatically improve recovery of brain function.

That’s correct, inducing hypothermia in some patients can boost survival rates and reduce brain damage.  To date, studies have involved the body of patients being cooled using ice cold intravenous drips and cooling pads applied to the skin.

This lowers the body temperature to about 35C, just a couple of degrees below its normal level.

At such low temperatures, the body into a state of artificial hibernation, where the brain can survive with less blood supply, giving doctors vital time to treat blocked or burst blood vessels.

Dr Malcolm Macleod, head of experimental neuroscience at the Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences at the University of Edinburgh, said: “Every day 1,000 Europeans die from stroke – that’s one every 90 seconds – and about twice that number survive but are disabled. And, “Our estimates are that hypothermia might improve the outcome for more than 40,000 Europeans every year.”

Dr. Macleod and his Highlander Scottish team are joining a consortium of clinicians from across Europe to seek funding for a trial involving 1,500 stroke patients.  The European research project, will also include hospitals in Germany, Italy and France.

~Posted by D.M. Schwadron, Esquire