Researchers say bat could aid stroke victims

Neurologists hope anticoagulant in vampire bat
saliva can help break up life-threatening clots

Every 40 seconds, someone has a stroke in the United States.

Every 48 hours, vampire bats must feed on the blood of unsuspecting victims or starve to death.

While these might seem like completely isolated phenomena, there is a connection.

There is a protein in the vampire bat’s saliva that might one day benefit stroke sufferers, especially those who ignore their symptoms for several hours before calling 911 or going to the hospital.

“Time is brain,” said Dr. Michel Torbey, a neurologist and stroke expert at Ohio State University Medical Center. “The longer treatment is delayed, the higher the risk of significant brain damage.”

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