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Neurology. 2005 Feb 22;64(4):710-2.

L-arginine improves the symptoms of strokelike episodes in MELAS.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, Kurume University School of Medicine, 67 Asahi-Machi, Kurume City, Fukuoka 830-0011, Japan.


Based on the hypothesis that mitochondrial myopathy, encephalopathy, lactic acidosis, and strokelike episodes (MELAS) are caused by impaired vasodilation in an intracerebral artery, the authors evaluated the effects of administering l-arginine, a nitric oxide precursor. Patients were administered L-arginine intravenously at the acute phase or orally at the interictal phase. L-arginine infusions significantly improved all strokelike symptoms, suggesting that oral administration within 30 minutes of a stroke significantly decreased frequency and severity of strokelike episodes.

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