July 26, 2011

Drug Could Limit Brain Damage After Stroke

Scientists said recently that brain damage after stroke could be limited by administering a drug within 12 hours of the attack, which is twice as long as current treatments.

A protein known as alpha-B-crystallin, which slows the immune system, could be used to reduce the swelling after stroke. 

A study found that the protein can work like a sponge to soak up inflammatory molecules in the brain and reduce further damage.

Stroke happens when blood flow to the brain suddenly drops due to a clot or bleeding.

The Stanford University scientists used mice in the experiment that were genetically engineered to lack alpha-B-crystalline.  These mice suffered more brain damage from stroke than normal mice during the study.

The only drug approved for the treatment of stroke must be administered within four and a half hours to be effective.

Dr Sharlin Ahmed of The Stroke Association said in a statement: "This potential new treatment could help improve the outcome for thousands of stroke survivors by reducing the amount of inflammation around the brain after a stroke.

"However, it's still very early days and a lot more research needs to be carried out before this treatment is tested in humans."

The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).


On the Net: