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New stroke therapy successful in rats
Date:1/12/2010

ard their good side.

One month after the study rats suffered an induced stroke (equal to about a year for humans), some were injected with TGF alpha. Within a month, they had regained nearly all their motor function, hopping up with both legs in the cylinder exercise and not favoring a side in the directional test. Rats that did not receive treatment improved just 30 percent.

Scientists examined the rats' brains and found that TGF alpha was stimulating neuron growth. First, it prompted adult stem cells in the brain to divide, creating more cells. Those cells then turned into brain cells and moved to the injured part of the brain, replacing neurons lost to the stroke. These new neurons, the scientists believe, helped restore motor function.

"It's becoming more and more clear that the brain is like any other organ: It has a lot of potential to regenerate," said Darius Gleason, a developmental & cell biology graduate student who worked on the study. "We are just emulating nature by giving a little nudge to what the brain is trying to do itself."

In the second study, appearing online Jan. 11 in the Journal of Stroke & Cerebrovascular Diseases, scientists placed TGF alpha in the rats' noses, simulating a nasal spray. They used a slightly different chemical version of the protein to render it more stable on its journey to the brain. After a month, the injured rats had regained 70 percent of their function, indicating that the intranasal method also works well.

"We saw the same phenomena," Fallon said. "It wasn't as profound, but we still ended up with very significant behavioral improvements and the same regenerative anatomical process."


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Contact: Jennifer Fitzenberger
jfitzen@uci.edu
949-824-3969
University of California - Irvine
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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