The bite of a bat could be a lifesaver for patients in the future. Jennifer Crome with the Iowa branch of the American Heart Association says scientists are working on a promising compound that has roots in nature. There’s a potent clot-busting substance extracted from the saliva of vampire bats that could be used to treat strokes, and used longer than current drugs without increasing the risk of brain damage. Ischemic strokes are caused when a clot closes off the flow of blood to the brain, and Crome explains those clots could be treated by a blood-thinner found in the small animal that laps up blood after biting its prey. When the vampire bat bites a victim, it secretes a clot-dissolving substance that’ll keep the blood flowing and let the bat keep feeding. It could be a safe treatment option for a longer time, since it doesn’t seem to hurt brain cells, though it’s only been tested so far on mice. The report is in this week’s edition of “Stroke,” a journal of the American Heart Association.
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