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Nature's shield against brain damage from stroke

Posted on Mar 12 2014 | IANS

Washington, March 12 : A molecular substance has been discovered to substantially reduce brain damage after an acute stroke - contributing towards a better recovery.

This substance, named peptide AcSDKP, occurs naturally in humans and rats.

A new study by researchers at Henry Ford Hospital has shown that the peptide AcSDKP provides neurological protection when administered one to four hours after the onset of an ischemic stroke.

An ischemic stroke occurs when an artery to the brain is blocked by a blood clot, cutting off oxygen and killing brain tissue with crippling or fatal results.

"Stroke is a leading cause of death and disability worldwide," said Li Zhang, lead author of the study.

"Our data showed that treatment of acute stroke with AcSDKP alone or in combination with tPA (tissue plasminogen activator) substantially reduced neurovascular damage and improved neurological outcome," Zhang added.

Commonly called a 'clot-buster', tPA is the only FDA-approved treatment for acute stroke.

However, tPA must be given shortly after the onset of stroke to provide the best results as it also has the potential to cause a brain haemorrhage.

The study was published online in the journal Stroke.

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