Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Study reveals natural protection mechanism during stroke

Last updated 17 August 2011
Scientists have discovered how some nerve cells in the brain are resistant to damage during a stroke - a finding that could one day pave the way for new therapies to protect other types of nerve cells.

A research team at the University of Bristol examined two types of nerve cell in the hippocampus - part of the brain that is involved in memory and navigation.

One of the cell types, the CA1 cell, is highly susceptible to stroke-related damage, while the other type, the CA3 cell, is much more resistant.

The researchers found that CA1 cells' susceptibility appears to be linked to the absence of adenosine A3 receptors, which are normally activated by high levels of adenosine during stroke conditions.

Dr Jake Mellor, senior lecturer in the university's School of Physiology and Pharmacology, said: 'We hope that if we can understand why some nerve cells are resistant to stroke damage we may be able to develop strategies to protect those cells that are sensitive.'

The scientist, whose findings are published in the Journal of Neuroscience, noted that stroke's unpredictability and the need to administer drugs within minutes of onset have historically made it difficult to treat.

'These problems will not be overcome by our research but our findings do reveal a natural protection mechanism in some nerve cells, which may be useful in developing treatments to protect other nerve cell types,' he added.

Around 150,000 people in the UK are affected by stroke each year, according to the Stroke Association.ADNFCR-554-ID-800702374-ADNFCR....... http://bit.ly/qIIqXI