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General Information for Patients

The purpose of this study is to determine the safety and effectiveness of the combination of low-dose aspirin and a medication called clopidogrel (also known by the brand name Plavix®) in reducing the risk of stroke, heart attacks and other complications in patients who have just had a TIA or minor ischemic stroke.

A TIA is a condition that produces stroke-like symptoms like sudden weakness on one side of the body or trouble speaking, but the symptoms are temporary. A minor ischemic stroke occurs when blood flow is interrupted to part of the brain. Depending on the region of the brain affected, a stroke may cause paralysis, speech impairment, loss of memory and reasoning ability, coma, or death. A stroke is also sometimes called a brain attack or a cerebrovascular accident (CVA).

The best treatment for prevention of another stroke or TIA in patients with narrowing of one of the arteries in the brain is uncertain. A common treatment is the use of anti-clotting medications to prevent blood clots from forming in the narrowed vessel. There are a variety of medicines used for this purpose, including aspirin and clopidogrel. These medications are usually taken for the rest of a patient’s life.

In POINT, eligibility is limited to brain TIAs and to minor ischemic strokes.

The study will enroll 5841 patients over a 5-year period. Each participant will be involved in the study for 90 days.

One hundred and fifty different institutions are part of this study. About half of the sites will report to the Clinical Coordinating Center, which is located at the University of Michigan, and the remainder will be overseen by the POINT CRC in Rockville, MD.