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Science Blog. Professor Guy Thwaites, Director of the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit, Vietnam, explains the discovery of yet another use for one of the most ubiquitous and ancient of drugs – aspirin. Aspirin is a commonly available over-the-counter medication that prevents blood clotting and helps reduce and resolve inflammation. Our research team in Vietnam wondered whether this ancient drug might help increase survival rates from TB meningitis by reducing brain inflammation and preventing the disease from blocking blood vessels in the brain that cause parts of the brain to die (commonly called ‘stroke’).