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March 26, 1982

'A remarkable medicine' raises HDL levels

JAMA. 1982;247(12):1686-1687. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320370008004

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A report on an unusual way to raise levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol left the audience mute at the recent Seventh International Joint Meeting on Stroke and Cerebral Circulation in New Orleans.

The reason: According to Henry J. M. Barnett, MD, chairman of clinical neurological sciences at the University of Western Ontario Faculty of Medicine, London, "this type of trial has never been done before. So there are no data to compare."

According to neurologist Markku Kaste, MD, of the University of Helsinki, the study showed that patients who suffer transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) can raise their consistently low HDL levels above normal by taking phenytoin sodium.

Phenytoin is, of course, the anticonvulsant agent that financier Jack Dreyfus claims cured his depression, has numerous other beneficial effects, and should be approved by the Food and Drug Administration for many new uses (Dreyfus J: A Remarkable Medicine Has Been Overlooked. New