A team of New Zealand researchers have found new stroke risk factors in patients who had suffered a transient ischaemic attack, which can be a precursor to brain attacks.
A common medical emergency, TIAs or a "mini-stroke", can lead to full strokes.
The investigation by Otago and Massey University researchers along with Capital & Coast DHB doctors found patients have greater blood pressure variability following a TIA which may increase their risk of having a stroke.
The findings open the way to develop new treatments to prevent a full stroke from occurring to combat the rising human and economic cost of thrombosis, they said.
"If we can assess and attenuate blood pressure variability in that phase, we may be able to prevent progression to stroke," Dr Shieak Tzeng said today.
"We need to do further longitudinal studies to investigate this."
The research was conducted on Wellington patients and has been published in US journal Physiological Reports.
Healthy volunteers are being sought for a follow-up study to investigate brain blood flow in depth.