Brain bleeding is caused by a defect in a gene called collagen IV and can cause strokes. But scientists have identified a drug to reduce brain bleeding and risk of strokes. They say that the drug has been already approved for use in patients to treat urea-related disorders.
How is brain bleeding caused?
Mutations in collagen IV genes lead to a genetic form of eye, kidney and vascular disease that ruptures the blood vessels in the brain and can cause brain bleeding, even in childhood.
The study on brain bleeding
The researchers, from the University of Manchester and University of Edinburgh in the UK, conducted a study on mice that have a similar defect in the collagen IV gene and develop the same disease as patients. Using sodium phenyl butyric acid, they were able to reduce brain bleeding, according to the study published in the journal Human Molecular Genetics.
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The treatment, however, did not treat either the eye or kidney disease linked with these genetic defects. While these genetic forms of the disease are rare, the same gene has also been implicated in common forms of brain bleeding in the general population.
Further research is now required to understand how these mutations cause the disease in different tissues so that strategies for treating all the clinical symptoms, including the eye and kidney disease, can be developed.
Lack of specific treatments for brain bleeding
Specific treatments for brain bleeding, including common diseases such as haemorrhagic stroke that accounts for 15 per cent of adult stroke, are currently lacking. Researchers hope these new study will be able to lead to new treatment opportunities for patients suffering from strokes and brain bleeding.
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"There are no treatments for diseases due to collagen IV mutations and brain bleeding. This work has identified a potential treatment strategy in mice and is the first step in translating this to patients," said Tom Van Agtmael, from the University of Glasgow.
"It will also help to identify for which patients this strategy may be effective and for which patients it is not recommended or may be counter-indicative. This personalised approach to medicine will be important to develop the most effective future treatments," Agtmael added in the study.
(With PTI inputs)