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Xenon gas trial success

27th February 2006

Scientists conducting the first clinical trial in using xenon gas to safeguard against postoperative brain damage, have hailed the trial a success.

The team from Imperial College London gave xenon gas to patients undergoing coronary artery bypass grafting, however their research could open up new treatments for people suffering from nervous system diseases, such as stroke and brain and spinal cord injuries.

Pre-trial research conducted by the college found that xenon acted as a neuroprotectant, blocking the effects of the receptor which is believed to play a part in nerve cell death. The discovery was made by biophysicist Professor Nick Franks.

Professor Franks said: “We hope xenon could be developed as a novel treatment. It is naturally occurring, and more importantly, its known lack of toxicity makes it an attractive candidate as a neuroprotectant in humans.

“Ultimately, we hope xenon could become part of standard medical treatment, with paramedics being able to administer it to stroke and brain-injured victims to stop ongoing nerve cell death.”

Results of the 12-patient trial have been published in the medical journal Anaesthesiology. The research team is now looking to conduct further trials to test xenon in large numbers of patients.

track© Adfero Ltd

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