Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) occurs in 28,000 people per year in North America. Symptomatic vasospasm occurs in the majority of individuals suffering SAH and is the most common cause of morbidity and mortality in patients reaching neurological care. Specifically, vasospasm causes cerebral ischemia or stroke, and the prevention of vasospasm could prevent stroke and death as well as allow physicians more freedom in scheduling surgery when the operative risks are lower.
Intravenous administration of 2,2'-bipyridyl successfully prevented vasospasm in a reliable primate model of subarachnoid hemorrhage. Bipyridyl may provide a safe, cost-effective and reliable therapy for vasospasm in the clinical setting. Additional ferrous chelates, which may also prove effective, are also embodied in the invention.