In people with acute ischaemic stroke, platelets become activated and can cause blood clots to form and block an artery in the brain, resulting in damage to part of the brain. Such damage gives rise to the symptoms of stroke. Antiplatelet therapy might reduce the volume of brain damaged by ischaemia and also reduce the risk of early recurrent ischaemic stroke, thereby reducing the risk of early death and improving long-term outcomes in survivors. However, antiplatelet therapy might also increase the risk of fatal or disabling intracranial haemorrhage.
Sandercock, P. A. G., Counsell, C., Tseng, M-C., & Cecconi, E. (2014). Oral antiplatelet therapy for acute ischaemic stroke. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (3), [CD000029]. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD000029.pub3