World Wide Words logo


It’s a medical mixture of caffeine and alcohol, which sounds like the refined essence of an Irish coffee, except that it is given to patients intravenously and not by mouth. It has been in the news because researchers at the University of Texas Medical School led by Professor James Grotta have announced that a study has shown that it helps to limit the effect of strokes on the brain in elderly patients. It’s an interesting example of synergy, in which two compounds given together have an effect that neither has by itself. A full trial is needed to find the ideal mixture of caffeine and alcohol and study possible side-effects before it can be approved, but doctors are interested in it because there’s no equivalent existing treatment.

Researchers found that brain damage in rats was reduced by up to 80% if caffeinol was given within three hours of a stroke.

Guardian, 17 Apr. 2003

Prof Grotta said a “randomised, placebo-controlled trial” was needed to determine the extent of caffeinol’s protective effect in humans. He is also planning a study combining caffeinol with thermo-cooling in stroke patients. Other studies have suggested that cooling the brain might limit stroke damage.

The Mirror, 11 Apr. 2003

Page created 26 Apr. 2003

Support World Wide Words and keep this site alive.

Donate by selecting your currency and clicking the button.

Buy from Amazon and get me a small commission at no cost to you. Select a site and click Go!

World Wide Words is copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–2014. All rights reserved. See the copyright page for notes about linking to and reusing this page. For help in viewing the site, see the technical FAQ. Your comments, corrections and suggestions are always welcome.

World Wide Words is copyright © Michael Quinion, 1996–2014. All rights reserved.
This page URL:
Last modified: 26 April 2003.