Assessment of safety and efficacy of cilostazol and isosorbide mononitrate to prevent recurrent lacunar stroke and progression of cerebral small vessel disease
About 35,000 people each year in the UK have a type of stroke, called ‘lacunar’ or ‘small vessel’ stroke, which is different to other common types of stroke and for which there is no proven treatment. We think that small vessel stroke is caused by damage to the lining of the tiny blood vessels deep inside the brain that stops them functioning normally. This not only causes stroke but, perhaps more importantly, causes problems with thinking and walking, possibly causing up to 45% of all dementias either on its own, or mixed with Alzheimer’s disease (about 350,000 patients in the UK). Some drugs that are commonly used in other blood vessel diseases may help improve small vessel function and prevent worsening of brain damage. One drug (cilostazol) has been tested in patients with stroke in the Asia Pacific countries but not on dementia; the other drug (isosorbide mononitrate) is widely used in the UK for heart disease but not stroke. We want to set up a clinical trial to test if the study methods are practical so that patients and trial centres can follow the procedures, and to confirm how many patients have more stroke-like symptoms or experience worsening of their thinking skills. This information is needed to be sure that a very large clinical trial to find out if these drugs can prevent worsening of small vessel disease will be possible.