Scientists report a potential new treatment to prevent strokes

November 22, 2012

(Medical Xpress)—Scientists may have discovered a new way to prevent strokes in high risk patients, according to research from the University of Warwick and University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire (UHCW).

Work by a new research group, led by Professor Donald Singer, Professor of Therapeutics at Warwick Medical School and Professor Chris Imray from UHCW, has now been published in US journal Stroke.

The group is using ultrasound scanning to look at with disease, one of the major causes of stroke. Clots can form on diseased carotid arteries in the neck. Small parts of these clots can released to form microemboli, which can travel to block key brain arteries and lead to weakness, disturbed speech, loss of vision and other serious stroke syndromes. Standard anti-platelet drugs such as aspirin may not prevent the formation of harmful microemboli.

The scanning process can be used to find patients at very high risk of stroke because microemboli have formed despite prior anti-platelet drugs. Using scanning, the team has found that tirofiban, another anti-platelet drug designed to inhibit the formation of blood clots, can suppress microemboli where previous treatment such as aspirin has been ineffective. In their study, tirofiban was more effective than other 'rescue' treatment.

Professor Singer said: "These findings show that the choice of rescue medicine is very important when carotid patients develop microemboli despite previous treatment with powerful anti-platelet drugs such as aspirin. We now need to go on to further studies of anti-microemboli rescue treatments, to aim for the right balance between protection and risk for our patients."

Professor Imray said: "These findings show the importance of ultrasound testing for micro-emboli in disease patients. These of high cannot be predicted just from assessing the severity of risk factors such as smoking history, cholesterol and blood pressure."

Explore further: Better diagnostics could reduce risky surgery for asymptomatic carotid stenosis

More information: Saedon, M. et al., Registry Report on Kinetics of Rescue Antiplatelet Treatment to Abolish Cerebral Microemboli After Carotid Endarterectomy. Stroke, ISSN: 0039-2499. stroke.ahajournals.org/content … .112.676338.full.pdf

Related Stories

Better diagnostics could reduce risky surgery for asymptomatic carotid stenosis

August 17, 2011
New research from Neurologist Dr. David Spence of The University of Western Ontario has shown that using 3-D ultrasound to identify ulcers in the carotid arteries is an effective way to pinpoint the small number of high-risk ...

Surgery to prevent stroke causes too many complications

November 15, 2011
An operation for preventing repeat strokes in high-risk patients has failed in a multi-institutional clinical trial, scientists report in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Recommended for you

Could aggressive blood pressure treatments lead to kidney damage?

July 18, 2017
Aggressive combination treatments for high blood pressure that are intended to protect the kidneys may actually be damaging the organs, new research from the University of Virginia School of Medicine suggests.

Quantifying effectiveness of treatment for irregular heartbeat

July 17, 2017
In a small proof-of-concept study, researchers at Johns Hopkins report a complex mathematical method to measure electrical communications within the heart can successfully predict the effectiveness of catheter ablation, the ...

Concerns over side effects of statins stopping stroke survivors taking medication

July 17, 2017
Negative media coverage of the side effects associated with taking statins, and patients' own experiences of taking the drugs, are among the reasons cited by stroke survivors and their carers for stopping taking potentially ...

Study discovers anticoagulant drugs are being prescribed against safety advice

July 17, 2017
A study by researchers at the University of Birmingham has shown that GPs are prescribing anticoagulants to patients with an irregular heartbeat against official safety advice.

Protein may protect against heart attack

July 14, 2017
DDK3 could be used as a new therapy to stop the build-up of fatty material inside the arteries

Heart study finds faulty link between biomarkers and clinical outcomes

July 14, 2017
Surrogate endpoints (biomarkers), which are routinely used in clinical research to test new drugs, should not be trusted as the ultimate measure to approve new health interventions in cardiovascular medicine, according to ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.