Propranolol is a drug that can treat infantile haemangiomas but was found to also treat a blood vessel condition that leads to cerebral cavernous malformations. Findings were reported in the scientific journal Stroke.
"Up to now, there's been no drug treatment for these patients, so our results may become hugely important for them," says Peetra Magnusson of the University's Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, who headed the study.
Cerebral cavernous malformations (CCM) are vascular lesions present on blood vessels of brain. A treatment option for these lesions involves an operation that can be risky.
Learn more about the condition of CCM:
"We examined mice with vascular malformations in the brain -- cavernomas or CCMs, as they're called -- that corresponded to the hereditary form of the condition in humans. The mice were given propranolol in their drinking water, and we were able to see that the cavernomas were becoming fewer and smaller. The blood vessels functioned better, too, with less leaking and improved contacts between their cells," Magnusson says.
"What makes the study especially interesting is that right now, in Italy, a clinical study is under way in which CCM patients are to get two years' treatment with propranolol. During this period, they're being monitored by means of magnetic resonance imaging of the blood vessels, to see how the malformations are developing," says Professor Elisabetta Dejana of Uppsala University's Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology and IFOM in Italy.
Source: Science Daily