New Study in Mice shows Promise for Treating Cavernous Angioma

In a collaborative effort, researchers at the University of Chicago, University of California San Diego, and Duke University have completed a study that shows a drug, called Fasudil, in the future may be used to treat patients with Cavernous Angioma.

The study was done using a mouse model for Cavernous Angioma.  These mice have been genetically modified so that they develop brain lesions similar to those found in human Cavernous Angioma patients.  Mice were treated with either Fasudil or a placebo for four months.  After the treatment period, the mice were examined for brain lesions.  The researchers found that the treated mice had fewer and smaller-sized lesions than those who had the placebo.

So, what is Fasudil?  Fasudil is a drug that is used in Japan to treat patients who have suffered a brain aneurysm.  Fasudil is not currently approved for use in the United States.  However, the researchers involved in this study plan to continue investigating this line of research and if more promising results are found, they will work with the drug manufacturer and the FDA to develop human clinical trials for Fasudil in the US.

In summary, senior author, Dr. Issam Awad explains, “this treatment does not cure the disease. But if it is successfully translated to human therapy, it would be a bit like treating multiple sclerosis, where many treatments do not eliminate the primary disease trigger, but can muffle it, slow it down and make it not as serious, and therefore allow a patient to effectively live with the disease, as opposed to having the disease dictate their health.”

The paper called, “Fasudil decreases lesion burden in a murine model of cerebral cavernous malformation disease,” was published online Oct. 27, 2011, by Stroke, and in the January 2012 print issue of the journal.  You may access the full press release for this paper by clicking HERE.

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