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New understanding of brain chemistry could prevent brain damage after injury
Date:5/15/2011

f KCC2 (by stimulating its expression using gene therapy), they found the damaged cells were protected from further damage, and death.

Dr Medina continued: "The death of neurons in the brain can be triggered by an imbalance of oxygen known as oxidative damage, or where cells are incorrectly instructed to die by a neurotransmitter a process known as excitotoxicity. KCC2 protects against both. It's really encouraging that we have identified a means of potentially protecting the brain from these common conditions."

Now the protective function of KCC2 is known, scientists can look at ways to maintain its levels in the brains of injured patients and prevent the cascade of damage that occurs. This could be achieved pharmaceutically, to naturally increase the levels of KCC2, or with gene therapy to introduce artificial KCC2.

"Neuroprotective agents that may stem from this research would benefit the victims of car crashes, stroke and those suffering with epilepsy, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's it's a major focus for further studies," concluded Dr Medina.


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Contact: Clare Kingston
ckingston@physoc.org
44-020-726-95721
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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