Navigation Links
Tsunami in the brain
Date:6/12/2008

After a stroke, even unaffected areas of the brain are at risk depolarization waves arise at the edges of the dead tissue and spread through the adjacent areas of the brain. If these waves are repeated, more cells die. This has previously been observed only in animal studies.

A clinical study at the university hospitals of Cologne and Heidelberg along with the Max Planck Institute of Neurological Research in Cologne has shown for the first time that this phenomenon occurs after a stroke in humans and is a warning sign that more nerve cells will die. The study, published in June 2008 in the renowned journal Annals of Neurology, may allow to translate more than 60 years of experimental research for the diagnosis and therapy of stroke patients.

More than 150,000 people a year in Germany suffer a cerebral stoke, the third most frequent cause of death in industrialized countries. When deposits clog vessels to the brain, some areas of the brain do not receive sufficient oxygen and the tissue dies. Depending on the size of the area affected, the patients may die or suffer permanent damage such as paralysis.

Spreading depolarizations first proven in stroke patients

The depolarization waves in the brain known as cortical spreading depression (CSD) have been studied only experimentally since the 1940s. Many features are thus known from animals the waves of depolarization that can spread out at a speed of two to five millimeters per minute are followed by silence brain activity comes to a halt for a short time. In this time, the nerve cells recover. "The impact of these waves is several times greater for nerve cells than an epileptic seizure," says Professor Dr. Rudolf Graf from the Max Planck Institute of Neurological Research and co-founder of the international study group COSBID (Cooperative Study on Brain Injury Depolarisations).

"After the stroke, circulation in the tissue surrounding the affected area of the brain is initially poor, but it can still be saved," explained Dr. Christian Dohmen of the Neurology Department at Cologne University Hospital. The spreading depolarizations additionally impair the metabolism of the weakened nerve cells. "The more frequently such waves occur, the longer the nerve cells require to recover, until finally they die off entirely," says the main author of the study. To what extent the brain is damaged after a stroke depends thus on the number of these spreading depolarizations. This correlation is becoming apparent in humans as well.

Know-how from 60 years of research can now be used for treating stroke patients

The spreading depolarizations, which also occur after head injuries or hemorrhages, can be measured only on the surface of the brain. For this study, the physicians therefore selected 16 patients whose brain had to be partially exposed due to a life threatening swelling of brain tissue. Electrodes were applied to the surface of the brain around the affected tissue (electrocorticography), the incisions were closed, and brain waves were measured for five days. All patients were in an artificial coma during this period due to their serious condition.

"Our study puts an end to the discussion as to whether these waves also occur in a human brain following a stroke," says Dr. Oliver Sakowitz, physician at the Department of Neurosurgery of the University of Heidelberg Hospital and co-author of the study. Now comes the question of how to prevent or at least contain them. "As they cause additional damage to the weakened tissue surrounding the stroke area, it is conceivable that we could prevent further damage by suppressing the waves," said the neurosurgeon.

In previous experimental studies on animals, a few therapy approaches were already developed which physicians can now apply. "The spreading depolarizations are a warning sign that other areas of the brain are at immediate risk and may be also useful as diagnostic measures," says Dr. Sakowitz. In a follow-up study on a larger number of stroke patients, the COSBID team under the direction of Dr. Christian Dohmen wants to clarify whether cortical spreading depression has an influence on the extent of sequelae such as paralysis.


'/>"/>

Contact: Dr. Annette Tuffs
annette.tuffs@med.uni-heidelberg.de
49-622-156-4536
University Hospital Heidelberg
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Project Tsunami Report Proves the Power of Bicycles
2. Draining away brains toxic protein to stop Alzheimers
3. Vision restoration therapy shown to improve brain activity in brain injured patients
4. Clinical depression linked to abnormal emotional brain circuits
5. Brain imaging reveals breakdown of normal emotional processing
6. Brain cells work differently than previously thought
7. Vaccine Stops Alzheimers Brain Tangles
8. Research may unlock mystery of autisms origin in the brain
9. Scientists Spot Brains Free Will Center
10. Free will takes flight: how our brains respond to an approaching menace
11. Alcoholics With Cirrhosis Have More Brain Damage
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Spring Fertility , the only fertility ... egg freezing, today announced the grand opening of its first location in San ... Fertility offers both fertility preservation (egg, sperm, embryo, and testicular and ovarian tissue ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... Francisco, CA (PRWEB) , ... ... ... intensive lectures and hands-on exercises, the Wharton Seminars for Business Journalists ... a better understanding of key business and economic issues.  This one-day program ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... May 05, 2016 , ... ... announces McLaughlin & Smoak Benefits as the latest addition to its family of ... a dedicated team of compliance, wellness, human resources, and health care consumerism specialists. ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... ... May 05, 2016 , ... Every year 220 Mississippi kids ... of these children. The wishes provide hope and motivation through positive experiences ... Make-A-Wish Mississippi, Brent Wilson said, “In 2016, the organization will grant 50% of ...
(Date:5/5/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 05, 2016 , ... ... commencement of a master charity program created to assist the people of their ... working closely with nonprofit organizations and community leaders. Their hope is to bring ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/4/2016)... 2016 Yissum Research Development ... today that it had signed an exclusive world-wide licensing ... of novel protein degradation and immunomodulatory drugs for cancer ... drug candidates representing first-in-class therapy for hematologic and solid ... The novel technology was developed by ...
(Date:5/4/2016)... , May 4, 2016 ... addition of the  "Global Acute Myeloid Leukemia ...  report to their offering.       ... Acute Myeloid Leukemia Market and Competitive Landscape ... Myeloid Leukemia pipeline products, Acute Myeloid Leukemia ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the ... Market Outlook 2020" report to their offering. ... technology has improved significantly in past years due to ... coming years. Many cancer drugs have been developed by ... also expected to be developed with its help. They ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: