Aspirin May Reduce the Effects of Stroke

We've heard that taking aspirin can lower our risk of heart attack.

Now there's good news that it can also help against strokes.

The good news is, one aspirin a week may mean the difference between a mild stroke, and a potentially deadly one.

Whether it's a name brand, or generic, what's inside aspirin boxes has the same effect. A new study in the medical journal Stroke has found just one aspirin a week may reduce the effects of stroke. That's because aspirin can attack platelets that clump together in your brain or heart. Dr. Joel Ray says, "By keeping the blood just a little bit thinner we get fewer clumps and we get fewer crushing of the vessel and to death to that part of the tissue. A stroke can affect people in different ways. It can affect your alertness, your vision, your movement, or your speech. But the study found people who had taken one aspirin the week before they had a stroke, had much milder strokes than those who had not taken an aspirin. Many times, the effects of mild strokes are temporary, the damage with severe strokes can be permanent. Dr. Ray says, "It can be more and more severe up to a whole side won't work, your speech is gone. Or it might be you're completely disoriented. Whatever it is, the more severe it is, the more functions are lost.

Even though aspirin does have a lot of benefits, it's like any other drug, you need to talk to your doctor before you take anything. "Your doctor is going to be the one that studied your situation and know what you should do," Dr. Ray says. So this is good news for the aspirin industry, but researchers are still testing other drugs that also stop blood clots from forming.