The only drug currently approved for treatment of stroke's crippling effects shows promise, when administered as a nasal spray, to help heal similar damage in less severe forms of traumatic brain injury.
In the first examination of its kind, researchers Ye Xiong, Ph.D, Zhongwu Liu, Ph.D., and Michael Chopp, Ph.D., Scientific Director of the Henry Ford Neuroscience Institute, found in animal studies that the brain's limited ability to repair itself after trauma can be enhanced when treated with the drug tPA, or tissue plasminogen activator.
"Using this novel procedure in our earlier stroke studies, we found significant improvement in neurological function," said Michael Chopp, Ph.D., scientific director of the Henry Ford Neuroscience Institute. "So we essentially repeated the experiment on lab rats with subacute traumatic brain injury, and with similar remarkable results.
"As in stroke treated intra-nasally with tPA, our subjects showed greatly improved functional outcome and rewiring of the cortical spinal tract."
The new study was recently published in the Public Library of Science's peer-reviewed online journal PLOS ONE.
Commonly called a "clot-buster," tPA is the only FDA-approved treatment for acute ischemic stroke.
Acute ischemic stroke occurs when oxygen-rich blood flow to the brain is blocked by a clot. Resulting damage to oxygen-starved brain cells can lead to physical impairment, mental disabilities and sometimes death.
In the case of traumatic brain injury, damage is due to a violent blow or other external assault.
It has been known for some time that stroke damage can be reduced if tPA is given intravenously within 4.5 hours. But tPA administered through the bloodstream also has potentially harmful side effects, including swelling of the brain and hemorrhage.
More recently, however, Henry Ford researchers found that the effective treatment window could be extended to as much as two weeks for lab rats dosed with tPA in a nasal spray, while avoiding the harmful side effects of intravenous injection.
Although scientists do not yet fully understand how it works, earlier research has shown that drugs administered through the nose directly target both the brain and spinal cord.
Traumatic brain injury is a leading cause of death and disability throughout the world. While the new Henry Ford study offers hope of a drug treatment, so far no effective pharmacological therapy is available.
These most recent findings suggest that tPA has the potential to be a noninvasive treatment for subacute traumatic brain injury, helping the brain restore function to damaged cells.
The researchers cautioned that further animal studies will be required to discover the best dose and the best time window for optimal intranasal treatment.
Funding: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke RO1 NS062002 (YX), and National Institute on Aging RO1 AG037506 (MC).
Dwight Angell | Eurek Alert!
Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung
Scientists reveal source of human heartbeat in 3-D
07.08.2017 | University of Manchester
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
16.08.2017 | Event News
04.08.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Event News
18.08.2017 | Life Sciences
18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences