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Mesh-like network of arteries adjusts to restore blood flow to stroke-injured brain
Date:1/30/2009

surface of the brain have a mesh-like architecture," Kleinfeld said. "One consequence of that is that it operates like a grid system that redistributes "current flow as you need it."

"City traffic freezes a lot less than you would think because once a street gets bogged down, you can move over to another street," he said. "This seems to be what happens on the surface of the brain."

Flows through the surface vessels reversed and stalled, as previously observed, but those changes helped to redistribute blood to ensure a steady supply though vessels that penetrate into the brain.

Shih focused his measurements on small arteries, called arterioles, at the point where they dive into the brain to supply a discrete patch of the cortex, a juncture that is vulnerable to occlusions that can cause microstrokes this group's previous work has found.

"These are extremely important. A single penetrating arteriole will feed a column of tissue," Shih said. "These are bottlenecks in flow."

The penetrating vessels neither reversed nor stalled, even though many connected to loops and bridges in the vascular network that could have allowed that to happen. Even when the pressure dropped permanently as a result of stroke damage, wider lanes allowed the network to deliver red blood cells at the same rate.

"Diameter is the major determinant to how blood actually flows through vessels. Open up a blood vessel a little bit and you'll have a huge change in the amount of blood that goes through," Shih said. "Blood flow comes back, and it seems that these vessels are very resistant to the stroke. They function quite normally."


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Contact: Susan Brown
sdbrown@ucsd.edu
858-246-0161
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert  

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Mesh-like network of arteries adjusts to restore blood flow to stroke-injured brain
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