Recent studies of stroke

In recent years, scientists have clarified the causes of stroke through numerous studies, and researchers have also developed new therapies for the treatment of stroke. We sort out the researches.

1.Underlying cause of brain injury in stroke

New research shows how the novel drug QNZ-46 can help to lessen the effects of excess release of glutamate in the brain. And this is the main cause of brain injury in stroke. The study was published in Nature Communications. It shows how identifying the source of damaging glutamate in stroke leads to discovery of brain protection with QNZ-46, a novel form of preventative treatment with clinical potential. Existing studies show that restricted blood supply promotes the excess release of glutamate. The glutamate binds to receptors, over-stimulating them and leading to the break-down of myelin–the protective sheath around the nerve fibre (axon). The grey matter is the area where all of the synapses operate. The white matter is the part of the brain the connects all of the grey matter together. Previous studies had focused on the brain’s grey matter. Now the new study focuses on white matter and demonstrates that the glutamate release from axons themselves contributes to damaging myelin. The findings support a rational approach toward a low-impact prophylactic therapy, such as QNZ-46, to protect patients at risk of stroke and other forms of excitotoxic injury (injury caused by excess glutamate).

2.Researchers reveal ion channel that could be target for medications

Scientists at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) used advanced imaging techniques to ascertain the resting state of an acid-sensing ion channel. They are really important ion channels that are spread throughout the body. People have pursued them as targets for stroke therapies, and they clearly have important roles in pain transduction. Ion channels create tiny openings in the membrane of cells throughout the body, allowing the transmission of signals in the nervous system. Acid-sensing ion channels are believed to play a role in pain sensation as well as psychiatric disorders. OHSU scientists expect the basic science research will spur new research and development into therapeutic agents targeting the channel. The new research examined acid-sensing ion channels in isolation. Scientists said the next phase of the research will involve studying the channels embedded within tissue to better understand how the they interact with other key proteins within the cellular membrane.

3.The flu affects your heart

A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine confirms that the flu virus significantly raises your risk of having a heart attack within a week of being diagnosed. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) still recommends all people over 6 months of age, with few exceptions, should get a flu shot. The influenza virus can cause an inflammatory reaction all over your body. That’s why you feel miserable. And, when that reaction happens, it also can irritate the lining of your arteries. If those arteries are already in trouble with plaque buildup, the inflammation can prompt a tear. A blood clot could form, blocking blood flow to your heart or brain, causing a heart attack or stroke.

4.Trans fat bans lessen the risk of heart attack and stroke

Trans fatty acids, or trans fats, are commonly found in fried foods, chips, crackers and baked goods. Eating even minimal amounts is linked to a greater risk of cardiovascular disease. Some communities have eliminated the use of trans fats in restaurants and eateries in recent years. To study the impact of restricting trans fats, the researchers compared outcomes for people living in New York counties with and without the restrictions. Using data from the state department of health and census estimates between 2002 and 2013, the researchers focused on hospital admissions for heart attack and stroke. They found that three or more years after the restrictions were implemented, people living in areas with the bans had significantly fewer hospitalizations for heart attack and stroke when compared to similar urban areas where no limits existed. The decline for the combined conditions was 6.2 percent.

5.Discovery paves way for treatment to prevent blood vessel damage

The discovery of a previously unknown interaction between proteins could provide a breakthrough in the prevention of damage to healthy blood vessels. The research shows how the two proteins combine to protect blood vessels from inflammation and damage and could pave the way for treatments to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. The new study found that when a protein called SOCS3 binds directly with another protein called Cavin-1, small cell surface regions of blood vessels called caveolae are stabilised, preventing damage. This mechanism is important for maintaining healthy vascular function. This process happens naturally in healthy cells but can be compromised when damage occurs, through natural processes such as ageing or as a result of lifestyle.

6.Stroke risk factors unique to women identified

Stroke disproportionately affects more women than men. Investigators from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and their colleagues are exploring the effects of potential risk factors that are unique to women, including hormone levels, hormone therapy, hormonal birth control, pregnancy and time of menarche and menopause. In the systematic review, the researchers report on several factors that elevate stroke risk among women including:

Early age of menarche (less than 10 years old)

Early age at menopause (less than 45 years old)

Low levels of the hormone dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEAS)

Taking oral estrogen or combined oral contraceptives

7.Lungs mays hold key to thwarting brain damage after a stroke

The harm caused by a stroke can be exacerbated when immune cells rush to the brain an inadvertently make the situation worse. Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) are studying new ways to head off this second wave of brain damage by using the lungs to moderate the immune system’s response. It has become increasingly clear that lungs serve as an important regulator of the body’s immune system and could serve as a target for therapies that can mitigate the secondary damage that occurs in stroke. The researchers are exploring a number of drugs that could help suppress the immune response during these non-infection events and provide protection to the brain and other organs.

8.Two simple tests could help to pinpoint cause of stroke

Detecting the cause of the deadliest form of stroke could be improved by a simple blood test added alongside a routine brain scan, research suggests. Combining the test with a brain scan could provide key genetic information that may help identify those most at risk from a second stroke, doctors say. Experts say the new approach could revolutionise the way doctors manage strokes caused by bleeding in the brain, known as intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH).

9.Shingles increases risk of heart attack and stroke

Contracting shingles, a reactivation of the chickenpox virus, increases a person’s risk of stroke and heart attack. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 1 out of every 3 people in the United States will develop shingles in their lifetime. Anyone who has suffered from chickenpox may develop shingles; however, the risk of shingles increases as a person gets older.

10.Researchers help develop technique for assessing and reducing risk of future stroke

One stroke is dangerous, and a second, even more so. One important risk factor for that perilous second stroke is an irregular heart beat called atrial fibrillation. Now, a team led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Santa Clara Valley Medical Center has used electronic medical records to predict the likelihood of a person experiencing atrial fibrillation after either of two kinds of strokes: a cryptogenic stroke or a transient ischemic attack.

Doyle, S., Hansen, D. B., Vella, J., Bond, P., Harper, G., Zammit, C., … & Fern, R. (2018). Vesicular glutamate release from central axons contributes to myelin damage. Nature communications, 9(1), 1032.

Yoder, N., Yoshioka, C., & Gouaux, E. (2018). Gating mechanisms of acid-sensing ion channels. Nature.

Brandt, E. J., Myerson, R., Perraillon, M. C., & Polonsky, T. S. (2017). Hospital admissions for myocardial infarction and stroke before and after the trans-fatty acid restrictions in New York. JAMA cardiology, 2(6), 627-634.

Williams, J. J., Alotaiq, N., Mullen, W., Burchmore, R., Liu, L., Baillie, G. S., … & Palmer, T. M. (2018). Interaction of suppressor of cytokine signalling 3 with cavin-1 links SOCS3 function and cavin-1 stability. Nature communications, 9(1), 168.

Mai, N., Prifti, L., Rininger, A., Bazarian, H., & Halterman, M. W. (2017). Endotoxemia induces lung-brain coupling and multi-organ injury following cerebral ischemia-reperfusion. Experimental neurology, 297, 82-91.

Rodrigues, M. A., Samarasekera, N., Lerpiniere, C., Humphreys, C., McCarron, M. O., White, P. M., … & Smith, C. (2018). The Edinburgh CT and genetic diagnostic criteria for lobar intracerebral haemorrhage associated with cerebral amyloid angiopathy: model development and diagnostic test accuracy study. The Lancet Neurology.

Kim, M. C., Yun, S. C., Lee, H. B., Lee, P. H., Lee, S. W., Choi, S. H., … & Kwon, S. U. (2017). Herpes Zoster Increases the Risk of Stroke and Myocardial Infarction. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 70(2), 295-296.