A combination of existing drugs can ease symptoms of a cerebrovascular disorder that in severe cases can lead to brain hemorrhage, a team of Yale researchers have found.
The combination of the cholesterol drug fluvastatin and zoledronate, which is used to treat bone disease, can prevent formation of central nervous system lesions associated with inherited forms of cerebral cavernous malformations (CCM) in mouse models of the disorder, researchers found.
CCM are marked by headaches, seizures, and other neurological deficits, as well as brain hemorrhage. In severe cases, surgery is required to repair damage caused by lesions. “Clinical options are limited mainly to treatment of symptoms or surgery, but targeted drug therapy is lacking”, said Dr. Angeliki Louvi, associate professor of neurosurgery and neuroscience and co-senior author of the research.
Extensive drug screening conducted at Yale identified — and follow-up studies with mice revealed — the drugs’ synergistic effects. The research was published May 12 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Murat Gunel, the Nixdorff-German Professor of Neurosurgery and professor of genetics and neuroscience, is co-senior author.