In a new study, researchers have stated that an experimental vaccine has reduced the risk of post-stroke blood clots in laboratory mice.
Researchers in Japan posted the findings in the journal Hypertension. It is hoped that the vaccine, S100A9, will eventually replace oral blood thinners, that are currently used to prevent another stroke.
There is also a report stating that his new vaccine, unlike traditional oral blood thinners, does not lead to an increase in bleeding problems or cause an increase in autoimmune reactions.
A professor at Osaka University and co-author of the vaccine study stated:
“Many stroke patients don’t take their blood thinning drugs as prescribed, which makes it more likely they will have another stroke. This vaccine might one day help solve this issue since it would only need to be injected periodically.”
According to the National Stroke Associated, an estimated 795,000 Americans suffer from a stroke each year. Of those, twenty-five percent will suffer from another stroke within their lifetime. Because the original stroke damages regions of the brain, making it less resilient to another episode, there is an increased possibility of death and disability with the second stroke.
Currently, when an individual suffers from a stroke, doctors may prescribe a regimen including an aspirin, and possibly the addition of an anticoagulant, such as Warfarin or Coumadin, in the hope of preventing a secondary stroke.
With this most recent study, researchers have stated that the new vaccine was successful in the prevention and protection against the forming of additional blood clots after the original stroke event. The study shows that the prevention lasts up to two months, and worked as well as the current routine of the oral blood thinner clopidogrel in major arteries.
Researchers also noted that the laboratory mice did not show the presence of an autoimmune response to the vaccine, which if present would see the vaccine as an invading intruder.
Researchers hope to begin human trials of the vaccine in the future, but caution that those trials are still several years away.