Research highlights a mutation in the gene COL4a2 that causes bleeding in the brain. A protein expressed by the gene forms a structure outside the cell called a basement membrane.
Scientists have now identified that accumulation of the mutant protein inside the cell can influence the development of haemorrhagic stroke.
They were able to treat the disease in cells grown in a culture dish by using a drug which has been approved for human patients: 4-phenyl butyric acid (PBA).
Dr Tom Van Agtmael of Glasgow University, who led the study, said: "This gives us a better understanding of how this type of stroke develops. It has identified how we might treat it in some cases."