Prospective, double blinded, comparative assessment of the pharmacological activity of Cerebrolysin and distinct peptide preparations for the treatment of embolic stroke

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Journal of the neurological sciences


BACKGROUND: Our previous work in acute ischemic stroke and TBI models focused on efficacy and pharmacological parameters of Cerebrolysin®. In this prospective, randomized, blinded, placebo-controlled study we compared efficacy of neuropeptide preparations with putative neurotrophic potential to the reference product Cerebrolysin® by assessing functional outcome and lesion volumes after embolic stroke in a rodent model.

METHODS: Male Wistar rats were subjected to embolic right middle cerebral artery occlusion and were treated with: 1) Cognistar® (Cerebroprotein Hydrolysate) 2.5 ml/kg, 2) Cerebrolysat® 2.5 ml/kg, 3) Cortexin® 1.7 mg/kg, 4) Cerebrolysin® 2.5 ml/kg, or 5) 1 ml of saline according to a pre-generated randomization plan. Dosages were defined according to the packet leaflet of the corresponding preparation and were adapted to the animal model as previously described. All enrolled rats received intraperitoneal injections once daily for 10 consecutive days, starting 4 h after occlusion. Functional outcome was assessed once weekly over four weeks by using a battery of behavioral tests. Infarct volume was measured four weeks after occlusion. Generalized Estimation Equations (GEE) was performed to study the treatment effect on overall functional recovery at day 28 (primary outcome), compared to saline controls.

RESULTS: Similar functional outcome was observed for saline control, Cognistar®, Cerebrolysat® and Cortexin®; in contrast, a significantly improved neurological outcome was observed with Cerebrolysin® treatment in comparison to saline as well as to the comparator drug treatment (p < .002). However, there was no significant difference in lesion volumes between rats treated with either Cortexin® (33.5 ± 1.9%), Cerebrolysat® (28.5 ± 2.4%), Cognistar® (34.7 ± 2.0%), or Cerebrolysin® (26.5 ± 2.3%) compared to saline-treated rats (30.8 ± 2.1%).

CONCLUSION: Among all tested neuropeptide preparations, Cerebrolysin® was the only agent that was associated with a significant improvement of neurological outcome after stroke.

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