Propranolol can be used to treat cerebral cavernous malformations

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Peer review/Experimental study/Animals

Propranolol, a drug that is efficacious against infantile haemangiomas (“strawberry naevi”, resembling birthmarks), can also be used to treat cerebral cavernous malformations, a condition characterized by misshapen blood vessels in the brain and elsewhere. This has been shown by researchers at Uppsala University in a new study published 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 (CCMs, also called cavernous angiomas or cavernomas) are vascular lesions on blood vessels in the brain and elsewhere, caused by genetic changes that may be hereditary or arise spontaneously.

Today, an operation to remove these lesions is the only possible treatment. However, surgical interventions in the brain are highly risky. Since the vascular malformations, moreover, recur in the hereditary form of the condition, drug treatment for CCMs is urgently required instead.

The uses of propranolol, a beta-blocker, include treating cardiovascular diseases and conditions, such as high blood pressure…

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