Does sodium valproate reduce the risk of stroke?

Is the HDAC inhibitor sodium valproate associated with reduced stroke risk?

Hugh Markus (lead researcher)

Cambridge, University of

Start date: 03 March 2014 (Duration 2 years)

When blood vessels feeding the brain become blocked because of furred up arteries (atherosclerosis) or a blood clot, a stroke occurs. In 2009, around 49,000 people in the UK died following a stroke. This research will find out if an epilepsy medicine could also reduce the risk of strokes in the future. Like heart disease, certain factors increase your risk of having a stroke e.g. high blood pressure and smoking. Professor Hugh Markus and colleagues have recently performed the largest genetic study into stroke. They found that a gene called HDAC9 is associated with stroke risk. They have now been awarded a two year grant to find out whether an epilepsy drug – sodium valproate – which blocks HDAC9 function, can reduce stroke risk. They will find out if people with epilepsy who are taking sodium valproate are less likely to have strokes than those who are taking other epilepsy drugs. They will also investigate if people who develop epilepsy as a result of a stroke are less likely to have another stroke if they are taking this drug than other epilepsy drugs. This study could reveal a new and better way to prevent strokes and may pave the way for completely new drugs against HDAC9 in the future.

Project details

Grant amount £124,603
Grant type Project Grant
Start Date 03 March 2014
Duration 2 years
Reference PG/13/30/30005
Status In progress

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