When the brain is injured in an accident, the damage continues to spread in the following days. Blood clots are obviously to blame for this as a research team of the University of Würzburg has found.
Causes include falls during sports accidents or vehicle accidents: Traumatic brain injury is the most common cause of death and permanent disability in teenagers and young adults. In survivors, the brain damages usually worsen directly after the accident. So far, there are no therapeutic options available to prevent this development.
A possible solution is described by Würzburg scientists under the leadership of Professors Anna-Leena Sirén (experimental neurosurgery) and Christoph Kleinschnitz (neurology) in the magazine "Annals of Neurology": According to the researchers, inhibition of blood coagulation factor XII might stop the brain damage from progressing further.
Tissue samples provided the decisive cue
How did the researchers come to this conclusion? "We investigated tissue samples of patients with traumatic brain injury provided by Uppsala University with which we cooperate in the European research association CnsAflame," Sirén explains. It turned out that blood clots in the patients' brains clog blood vessels with particular frequency.
The research team believed that this is the reason why the brain damage spreads. They studied the mechanism in mice whose blood does not coagulate because the factor XII is missing. "Clogged blood vessels and post-traumatic subsequent damage were reduced significantly here," biologist Dr. Christiane Albert-Weißenberger explains. Suppressing the blood coagulation using rHA-Infestin-4, a factor XII inhibitor from CSL Behring GmbH (Marburg), also had a protective effect.
What is more: "We did not observe any bleeding when using the inhibitor. This is crucial for the drug's safe application," explains pharmacist Sarah Hopp-Krämer, who wrote her doctoral thesis on this topic in the working group of Christoph Kleinschnitz. Bleeding is a frequent complication in traumatic brain injury. Therefore, therapeutic drugs must not under any circumstances trigger bleeding.
Still a long way to clinical application
The team's conclusion: The new findings are an important step towards developing new therapies for patients suffering from craniocerebral injuries. "The patients' tissue samples have provided valuable information in this regard," Kleinschnitz further. But he predicts that several more years will pass until accident victims can potentially benefit from the new knowledge, because further tests have to be conducted to study the long-term effect of the inhibitor rHA-Infestin-4, among others. The scientists hope to continue their long-standing collaboration with the Marburg-based company for this purpose.
Sponsors of the research project
The research project was financed by the EU-funded CnsAflame research association through the Else-Kröner-Fresenius Foundation, CSL Behring GmbH and the University of Würzburg's Interdisciplinary Center for Clinical Research.
“Targeting Coagulation Factor XII as a Novel Therapeutic Option in Brain Trauma“, Sarah Hopp, Christiane Albert-Weissenberger, Stine Mencl, Michael Bieber, Michael K. Schuhmann, Christian Stetter, Bernhard Nieswandt, Peter M. Schmidt, Camelia-Maria Monoranu, Irina Alafuzoff, Niklas Marklund, Marc W. Nolte, Anna-Leena Sirén, and Christoph Kleinschnitz, Annals of Neurology, DOI: 10.1002/ana.24655
Prof. Dr. Anna-Leena Sirén, Department of Neurology of the Würzburg University Hospital, Phone +49 931 201-24579, firstname.lastname@example.org
Prof. Dr. Christoph Kleinschnitz, Department of Neurology of the Würzburg University Hospital, Phone: +49 931 201-23755, email@example.com
Robert Emmerich | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg
First impressions go a long way in the immune system
22.07.2019 | Weizmann Institute of Science
Genetic differences between strains of Epstein-Barr virus can alter its activity
18.07.2019 | University of Sussex
Augsburg chemists and physicists report how they have succeeded in the extremely difficult separation of hydrogen and deuterium in a gas mixture.
Thanks to the Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) technology developed here and already widely used, the University of Augsburg is internationally recognized as the...
Adjusting the thermal conductivity of materials is one of the challenges nanoscience is currently facing. Together with colleagues from the Netherlands and Spain, researchers from the University of Basel have shown that the atomic vibrations that determine heat generation in nanowires can be controlled through the arrangement of atoms alone. The scientists will publish the results shortly in the journal Nano Letters.
In the electronics and computer industry, components are becoming ever smaller and more powerful. However, there are problems with the heat generation. It is...
Scientists have visualised the electronic structure in a microelectronic device for the first time, opening up opportunities for finely-tuned high performance electronic devices.
Physicists from the University of Warwick and the University of Washington have developed a technique to measure the energy and momentum of electrons in...
Scientists at the University Würzburg and University Hospital of Würzburg found that megakaryocytes act as “bouncers” and thus modulate bone marrow niche properties and cell migration dynamics. The study was published in July in the Journal “Haematologica”.
Hematopoiesis is the process of forming blood cells, which occurs predominantly in the bone marrow. The bone marrow produces all types of blood cells: red...
For some phenomena in quantum many-body physics several competing theories exist. But which of them describes a quantum phenomenon best? A team of researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and Harvard University in the United States has now successfully deployed artificial neural networks for image analysis of quantum systems.
Is that a dog or a cat? Such a classification is a prime example of machine learning: artificial neural networks can be trained to analyze images by looking...
24.06.2019 | Event News
29.04.2019 | Event News
17.04.2019 | Event News
22.07.2019 | Information Technology
22.07.2019 | Health and Medicine
22.07.2019 | Power and Electrical Engineering