In a new study, researchers have tested new drugs for the prevention of stroke and dementia.
The new drugs could help prevent damage to small blood vessels in the brain and hence protect people from stroke and dementia.
The research was conducted by A team led by the Universities of Edinburgh and Nottingham.
Damage to small blood vessels in the brain can contribute to about 25% of strokes. The condition is also a common cause of dementia and memory loss.
Currently, the only way to reduce the risk of the diseases is to lower blood pressure and cholesterol. People also need to quit smoking and control diabetes.
In the study, the new drugs are called cilostazol and isosorbide mononitrate. They have been shown to be able to treat heart disease and angina.
The team tested if the drugs could help treat stroke and dementia caused by blood vessel damage.
They tested 57 patients, who had experienced a stroke caused by damaged small blood vessels.
All of the patients took the two medicines individually or in combination for about nine weeks, They also received usual treatments for preventing further strokes.
In addition, the team tested the blood pressure, blood samples and brain structure and functions in these patients.
They found the treatments helped improve blood vessel function in the arms and brain and may improve thinking skills.
They also found that the drugs were well tolerated in patients. No serious side effects were found even when the patients took the full dose or combined them with other medicines.
The researchers suggest the drugs are safe for stroke patients at least in the short term. They can be taken alone or in combination.
This is the first time the new drugs have been tested in the UK to treat stroke or vascular dementia.
Future work will test if the treatments can prevent brain damage and reduce the risk of stroke and vascular dementia in a larger group of people.
The lead author of the study is Professor Joanna Wardlaw, of the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Clinical Brain Sciences.
The study is published in EClinicalMedicine.
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