Scientists report a potential new treatment to prevent strokes

November 22, 2012, University of Warwick

(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

A nanoparticle inhalant for treating heart disease

January 18, 2018
A team of researchers from Italy and Germany has developed a nanoparticle inhalant for treating people suffering from heart disease. In their paper published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, the group describes ...

Starting periods before age of 12 linked to heightened risk of heart disease and stroke

January 15, 2018
Starting periods early—before the age of 12—is linked to a heightened risk of heart disease and stroke in later life, suggests an analysis of data from the UK Biobank study, published online in the journal Heart.

'Decorated' stem cells could offer targeted heart repair

January 10, 2018
Although cardiac stem cell therapy is a promising treatment for heart attack patients, directing the cells to the site of an injury - and getting them to stay there - remains challenging. In a new pilot study using an animal ...

Two simple tests could help to pinpoint cause of stroke

January 10, 2018
Detecting the cause of the deadliest form of stroke could be improved by a simple blood test added alongside a routine brain scan, research suggests.

Exercise is good for the heart, high blood pressure is bad—researchers find out why

January 10, 2018
When the heart is put under stress during exercise, it is considered healthy. Yet stress due to high blood pressure is bad for the heart. Why? And is this always the case? Researchers of the German Centre for Cardiovascular ...

Heart-muscle patches made with human cells improve heart attack recovery

January 10, 2018
Large, human cardiac-muscle patches created in the lab have been tested, for the first time, on large animals in a heart attack model. This clinically relevant approach showed that the patches significantly improved recovery ...

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.