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Culprit found for increased stroke injury with diabetes
Date:1/23/2011

control animals mimicked the effects of diabetes on brain hemorrhage. This suggests that high blood sugar at the time of brain hemorrhage, rather than diabetes per se, is responsible for the increased bleeding.

"Given the prevalence of strokes and the damage they inflict, these findings are exciting because they suggest the possibility that rapid control of blood sugar levels may provide an opportunity to reduce intracerebral hemorrhage, which is a clinical situation that has very limited treatment options," says Dr. Feener, who is also an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. "This work could have broad implications since about half of patients with acute hemorrhagic stroke have hyperglycemia, whether or not they have pre-existing diabetes."

The work also raises the possibility of developing drugs that target plasma kallikrein and may provide protective measures in people with diabetes or others at high risk for stroke. Such drugs might also prove useful for patients suffering from the more common ischemic strokes, which usually begin as blocked vessels in the brain but can transform into hemorrhages.

Surprisingly, while plasma kallikrein has been studied for decades, the Joslin scientists found that the protein boosts brain bleeding through a previously unknown mechanismby blocking platelet activation near damaged blood vessels.


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Contact: Eric Bender
eric.bender@joslin.harvard.edu
617-309-2418
Joslin Diabetes Center
Source:Eurekalert

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