As time goes on, patients who suffer from types 2 diabetes are at a greater risk to have a stroke than people without diabetes. Damage resulting from a stroke can be life changing and stop patients’ brains from functioning properly. However, new research reveals that a diabetes drug, Linagliptin, may decrease brain injury after stroke and could potentially be effective to help treat patient groups with a high stroke risk.
People who have had type 2 diabetes for more than 10 years are three times more likely to have a stroke than people without diabetes, according to a study reported by Health Day. However, the risk of stroke isn’t just limited to people who have suffered from type 2 diabetes for more than 10 years; the risk goes up as the diabetes duration increases.
Strokes cut off blood, oxygen and glucose, and damage the neural tissue in the brain because of a blood clot or rupture of a blood vessel. But the damage can continue even hours and days following the stroke. Blood flow is often reduced by 60 percent as waves of peri-infarct depolarization pound the brain tissue.
Although thrombolysis is a method of treatment for stroke patients, it has severe side effects like brain hemorrhage and the treatment is not as effective in diabetic patients. Thrombolysis dissolves the blood clot in the occluded vessels of the brain, and diabetes already causes a sensitive vessel structure.
However, scientists at Karolinska Institute in Sweden have discovered that the antidiabetic drug called linagliptin may prove an effective treatment for type 2 diabetes patients who have suffered a stroke.
Scientists conducted a study that administered linagliptin or a placebo into diabetic mice before and after having induced a stroke experimentally. Results showed that the drug stimulated neuroprotection and largely reduced the brain damage following a stroke.
Dr. Mitchell Elkind of Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, conducted a study to uncover an association between type 2 diabetes and stroke. Although the finding that linagliptin can help reduce brain damage following strokes in patients with type 2 diabetes, Dr. Elkind emphasizes the importance of good blood pressure and cholesterol control, adding “diet and exercise are really powerful ways to help prevent stroke.”