Studying the reaction of blood vessels in the eyes may offer insight into stroke prevention by revealing how blood vessels in the brain react to high blood pressure, a major risk factor for stroke .
A new study finds the drug candesartan cilexetil, also known as Atacand, improves blood flow in the eye, which can be slowed from the result of high blood pressure.The endothelium is the lining of the vessel walls and plays a key role in vessels' ability to relax and constrict.
For the study, researchers recruited 38 young adults, half of whom had early stage hypertension. The patients randomly received the drug or placebo for seven days. The blood flow in their retinal vessels was measured before and after treatment. Each patient was then switched to the opposite treatment and the tests were repeated.
Researchers found when patients were on the drug, there was normal blood vessel function. However, when patients were on the placebo the blood flow did not change. Researchers feel because of the similarity between the retinal and brain blood vessels, the study results suggest that the drug could improve function of brain vessels as well.