News / Health

Study: Natural Protein Reduces Brain Damage Caused by Stroke

Appears to be effective up to 12 hours after a stroke occurs

Scientists were able to protect the brains of mice with an injection of a naturally-occurring  protein called a-beta-crystallin.
Researchers believe the protein might limit damage in human stroke patients, too.
Scientists were able to protect the brains of mice with an injection of a naturally-occurring protein called a-beta-crystallin. Researchers believe the protein might limit damage in human stroke patients, too.
Art Chimes

A protein which occurs naturally in the body reduces brain lesions caused by a stroke, according to a new study.

The protein is called alpha-B-crystallin and, in mice, appears to be effective up to 12 hours after a stroke occurs.

Stroke is one of the world's top killers, and a leading cause of disability. According to the World Health Organization, 15 million people suffer a stroke each year. One-third of them die, and another third are permanently disabled. Treatment options have been limited.

In most cases of stroke, a blood vessel in the brain becomes clogged, cutting off the supply of oxygen and nutrients to brain tissue. Within a short time, brain tissue begins to die.

The only treatment is a clot-buster called tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA. But it is only useful when given in the first hours after a stroke. Also, tPA doesn't work against the next part of a stroke event, when immune system cells rush in to protect the brain but actually promote dangerous inflammation.

"In any individual person, the inflammatory component may make up as much as twice the degree of injury as the initial damage," says Dr. Gary Steinberg of Stanford University's medical school and co-senior author of the study.

A few years ago, Steinberg and his colleagues found that a naturally-occurring protein called alpha-beta-crystallin could reduce brain damage in multiple sclerosis patients. They thought it might also prevent brain damage in stroke victims.

To find out, they first used two groups of laboratory mice - normal mice whose bodies make the protein, and a special variety that does not produce the protein. They induced strokes in both groups of mice, but the strokes were much worse in the mice bred not to produce the alpha-beta-crystallin.

"We then delivered the same protein or molecule, a-beta-crystallin, into the mice through an injection and found that we could protect the brains of the mice further by giving additional a-beta-crystallin," Steinberg said.

That suggests that the protein might be used to limit the damage in human stroke patients, too.

Steinberg says using alpha-beta-crystallin could represent a unique approach to stroke treatment.

"I think that's what's exciting about it. It's basically utilizing an endogenous or native mechanism that we think is present in stroke victims already, but it's not robust enough, and we are augmenting it, and it attacks the inflammatory component, which is unique."

Steinberg says more animal tests are needed before they can move on to human trials.

You May Like

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. More

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

Dropout rate at an all-time high in South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during 3-year civil war More

Tennessee Songbirds Fly Coop Long Before Tornadoes Arrive

Researchers say birds apparently alerted to danger by sounds at frequencies below range of human hearing More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportionali
X
Aru Pande
December 19, 2014 1:45 AM
The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video US: Response to Sony Hack Will Be Proportional

The White House says President Barack Obama considers the cyberattack on Sony Corp. a serious national security matter and that the U.S. will counter with an "appropriate response." VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid