Stroke Probed in Diabetic Patients

Insulin infusion treatment may lead to better outcomes for diabetic stroke patients

(RxWiki News) The risk of stroke is higher for diabetic patients than the general population. A new stroke treatment for diabetics may significantly improve survival and chance of disability.

The new treatment to be tried during a national trial involves administering IV insulin infusion therapy within 12 hours of acute ischemic stroke symptoms. That infusion would be given for up to three days.

"Go to the hospital immediately if stroke symptoms appear."

Dr. Karen C. Johnston, chair of the University of Virginia department of neurology and principal investigator of the national trial, said she is excited about the effort to improve the care of stroke patients with diabetes. She said results of the trial will aid health care providers in determining the best treatments for diabetic patients, resulting in better outcomes.

The trial, which will take place at more than 50 national centers, is funded through a $25 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. Named Stroke Hyperglycemia Insulin Network Effort (SHINE), researchers plan to determine the effectiveness of a novel approach to controlling sugar very soon after a stroke in diabetic patients.

Researchers hope that the new treatment will aid these patients by bringing blood sugar to a normal level, which could improve the outcome for patients.

Of about 750,000 in the United States who have a stroke each year, about 40 percent of those with have acute ischemic strokes have high blood sugar. These types of strokes are associated with worse patient outcomes, including a higher chance of death or disability.

Patients included in the study must be diabetic with elevated blood sugar on initial evaluation. They must agree to go to the hospital quickly after symptoms appear.

The SHINE trial is sponsored by the National Institutes of Neurological Diseases and Stroke, a division of the National Institutes of Health.

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Review Date: 
August 18, 2011