Substance naturally found in humans can help fight brain damage from stroke
Researchers have said that a molecular substance occurring naturally in humans and rats was found to "substantially reduce" brain damage after an acute stroke.
Li Zhang, M.D., a researcher at Henry Ford and lead author of the study, said that their data showed that treatment of acute stroke with AcSDKP alone or in combination with tPA substantially reduced neurovascular damage and improved neurological outcome.
The Henry Ford study found that this narrow "therapeutic window" is extended for up to four hours after stroke and the therapeutic benefit of tPA is amplified when tPA is combined with AcSDKP.
Further, the researchers discovered that AcSDKP alone is an effective treatment if given up to one hour after the brain attack.
The researchers tested the actions of both substances on laboratory rats in which acute stroke had been induced. It was already known that the peptide AcSDKP provides anti-inflammatory effects and helps protect the heart when used to treat a variety of cardiovascular diseases.
The researchers found that AcSDKP can readily cross the so-called "blood brain barrier" that blocks other neuroprotective substances.
A battery of behavioral tests was given to the lab rats both before and after stroke was induced to measure the effects of AcSDKP administered alone one hour after onset and combined with tPA four hours after stroke.
Besides finding that both methods "robustly" decreased neurological damage associated with stroke, they did so without increasing the incidence of brain hemorrhage or the formation of additional blood clots.
The study has been published online in journal Stroke.
(Posted on 12-03-2014)