The University of Edinburg in collaboration with the University of Nottingham successfully tested cilostazol and isosorbide mononitrate, drugs previously used to treat conditions like heart disease and angina. This was the first time they were tested in the UK for treating vascular dementia and stroke. A significant number of people suffer from these illnesses in the UK every year, and this recent study has given them hope. The Alzheimer's Society funded the tests with support from the UK Stroke Association, British Heart Foundation, The European Union, National Institutes of Health Research, and NHS Research Scotland.
The test was conducted by a team led by universities of Edinburgh and Nottingham. Patients suffering from lacunar stroke were examined in the trial. They were advised to take the drugs either individually or in combination for the next nine weeks in addition to their routine treatment. During the test period, they underwent regular blood tests, pressure checks, and brain scans.
The patients were tolerant to the drugs and showed no severe side effects, even when the drugs were given in full dose or combination with other medications. The test treatment also helped improve blood vessel function in the arms and brain of the patients. The findings of this study assured that the drug is safe for use in stroke patients, taken alone or in combination, at least for a short term.
Until now, the only way of reducing the risk of stroke and dementia was by controlling the blood pressure and cholesterol level. According to the researchers, this study will help in implementing direct treatment of these diseases and pave the pathway for further studies aimed at the prevention of brain damage and other related illnesses. A larger study named LACI-2 is already underway to test the additional benefits of the drugs. When there are no effective treatments for these illnesses, this study is proving to be a massive breakthrough in the world of medicine.