Following a stroke, patients have abnormally high levels of proteins associated with inflammation in their blood and brain, one of which is called interleukin-1. Increased inflammation is associated with more severe brain damage and the patient is more likely to die or be severely disabled. This study aims to develop a new treatment to reduce harmful inflammation in the brain after stroke.
This research will test a drug called interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra), a naturally occurring protein that blocks the activation of interleukin-1. IL-1Ra is currently licensed as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis and given to patients via injections under the skin. This study aims to find out if skin injections of IL-1Ra will also work to reduce inflammation after stroke.
We know from laboratory studies with animals that skin injections of IL-1Ra reduce the amount of brain damage caused by a stroke. We also know that intravenous injections of IL-1Ra in stroke patients reduce inflammation in the blood. This study will test whether skin injections of IL-1Ra twice a day for 3 days will reduce inflammation in the blood of stroke patients. If it is successful this study will allow a large clinical trial to be conducted to see if IL-1Ra skin injections can improve patient outcomes after stroke.