Stroke damage mechanism identified

1 December 2014

There is a mechanism that can be linked to the brain damage caused by a stroke, a new study has found, and it could be possible to target this with drugs. 

Strokes are caused when the blood supply to the brain is inhibited, which can be made worse by obesity. However, most of the harm is done to memory and other cognitive function by "oxidative stress" caused in the initial few hours and days of recovery.

A collaborative team from the University of Leeds and Zhejiang University in China analysed this second, damage-causing phase in laboratory mice and identified a mechanism in neurons could reduce damage to brain function if removed.

Co-author Dr Lin-Hua Jiang, of the University of Leeds' School of Biomedical Sciences, said: "Until now, much of the drug research has been focusing on the direct damage caused by the loss of blood flow, but this phase can be hard to target. 

"We have found a mechanism that is linked to the next phase of damage that will often be underway after patients have been admitted to hospital."

The study was published in the journal Cell Death and Disease.

Posted by Philip Briggs​

 

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