ANCHOR LEAD: THERE’S A POTENTIAL BENEFIT TO CARBON MONOXIDE EXPOSURE, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Seems like every winter, a news story breaks about an entire family killed by their faulty furnace, which spewed carbon monoxide while they slept and essentially suffocated everyone. Carbon monoxide is known to be poisonous, and many people have monitors in their homes to ward off the danger. Now research from Johns Hopkins led by Sylvain Dore has shown that inhalation of carbon monoxide at low levels can be beneficial following a stroke.
DORE: What we have shown here is very surprising at the beginning. Was that carbon monoxide at low levels can significantly reduce brain damage by approximately 60%. Then we also give carbon monoxide at different time after stroke, one hour and three hours after stroke and we still see beneficial properties of this low level exposure to carbon monoxide. :22
Dore and colleagues are trying to discern the mechanism whereby low level carbon monoxide is protective, as well as a way to immediately monitor blood levels of the gas. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.