Frequently Asked Questions

Is it worth taking Aspirin, or Aspirin-like drugs, for CADASIL if I have not yet suffered a stroke?

Once CADASIL sufferers have experienced a stroke, we usually start Aspirin, or a similar but slightly more effective drug called Clopidogrel. It is not known for sure which patients with the CADASIL mutation should take these drugs if they have not had a stroke. We tend to treat patients once they have reached the age of 40 or above at which point the risk of stroke is increased. Stroke is fairly rare in CADASIL at age less than 40.

I have CADASIL. Should I take the oral contraceptive pill?

The combined oral contraceptive pill (which contains estrogen and progestogen) is associated with an increased risk of stroke.  Even though this is small, we would advise against taking it if you have CADASIL. The mini pill (progestogen only) is associated with a lower risk of stroke and would be a better option if oral contraception is used.

I have CADASIL. Is it safe to take hormone replacement therapy? 

HRT for menopausal symptoms is associated with an increased risk of stroke, probably due to a slight increase in blood clotting. For this reason it is better to avoid it in patients who have CADASIL. However, if the menopausal symptoms are very severe, sometimes a decision may need to be made to take it despite the increased risk, but this should be discussed in detail with your doctor.

Is there a UK patients group for CADASIL?

Currently, there is no UK CADASIL patients and families group. This is something we would be keen on helping establish if patients and their families are interested. If that is the case, please do let us know via the contact link on this website.

Where can I find information on CADASIL?

On this website we hope to provide useful information on CADASIL which is presented in a clear and balanced fashion. There are also links to other sites at which information can be found. There are many sites which have additional information, but in some cases it is not balanced and could cause unnecessary  worry or confusion for CADASIL sufferers and their families.


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