Researchers believe lacunar strokes could be an underlying cause of at least 40 per cent of dementias A new trial has been launched to find out if a cheap angina drug could prevent strokes which trigger dementia.
Scientists at the Universities of Edinburgh and Nottingham will test isosorbide mononitrate to see whether it can stop lacunar strokes, caused by damage to blood vessels in the brain.
Researchers believe lacunar strokes could be an underlying cause of at least 40 per cent of dementias and they hope that preventing an attack will bring down the number of sufferers.
200 people at risk of suffering a stroke will take part in the trial which has been funded by the British Heart Foundation.
In the three year-long trial, the will be treated with isosorbide mononitrate and/or a heart drug called cilostazol which costs around 63 pence per tablet.
The researchers think the drugs may help reduce the damage to the arteries in the brain that cause the stroke. They will perform MRI scans on people taking part in the trial to see what effects these drugs have on the small blood vessels within the brain.
Professor Joanna Wardlaw, leading the research at the University of Edinburgh, said:“It’s very clear that lacunar strokes can cause brain damage, affecting thinking ability, balance and the way people walk.
“With this in mind, there is a strong link between this type of stroke and dementia.
“This trial is important as it’s one of the first looking into treatments for this particular type of stroke.
Approximately 40,000 people die from a stroke every year in the UK and the condition is a major cause of disability with over a million UK stroke survivors.
ource: By Sarah Knapton, Science Editor. Telegraph