Breaking News

Ability of the brain to protect Itself from damage revealed

by Tech Reporter
25 February 2013 | 3564 Views


TEHRAN - The origin of an innate ability the brain has to protect itself from damage that occurs in stroke has been explained for the first time.

The Oxford University researchers hope that harnessing this inbuilt biological mechanism, identified in rats, could help in treating stroke and preventing other neurodegenerative diseases in the future.

'We have shown for the first time that the brain has mechanisms that it can use to protect itself and keep brain cells alive,' says Professor Alastair Buchan, Head of the Medical Sciences Division and Dean of the Medical School at Oxford University, who led the work.

The researchers report their findings in the journal Nature Medicine and were funded by the UK Medical Research Council and National Institute for Health Research.

Stroke is the third most common cause of death in the UK. Every year around 150,000 people in the UK have a stroke.

It occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. When this happens, brain cells are deprived of the oxygen and nutrients they need to function properly, and they begin to die.

'Time is brain, and the clock has started immediately after the onset of a stroke. Cells will start to die somewhere from minutes to at most 1 or 2 hours after the stroke,' says Professor Buchan.

This explains why treatment for stroke is so dependent on speed. The faster someone can reach hospital, be scanned and have drugs administered to dissolve any blood clot and get the blood flow re-started, the less damage to brain cells there will be.

It has also motivated a so-far unsuccessful search for 'neuroprotectants': drugs that can buy time and help the brain cells, or neurons, cope with damage and recover afterwards.

The Oxford University research group have now identified the first example of the brain having its own built-in form of neuroprotection, so-called 'endogenous neuroprotection'.

They did this by going back to an observation first made over 85 years ago. It has been known since 1926 that neurons in one area of the hippocampus, the part of the brain that controls memory, are able to survive being starved of oxygen, while others in a different area of the hippocampus die. But what protected that one set of cells from damage had remained a puzzle until now.

'Previous studies have focused on understanding how cells die after being depleted of oxygen and glucose. We considered a more direct approach by investigating the endogenous mechanisms that have evolved to make these cells in the hippocampus resistant,' explains first author Dr Michalis Papadakis, Scientific Director of the Laboratory of Cerebral Ischaemia at Oxford University.

Working in rats, the researchers found that production of a specific protein called hamartin allowed the cells to survive being starved of oxygen and glucose, as would happen after a stroke.

They showed that the neurons die in the other part of the hippocampus because of a lack of the hamartin response.

The team was then able to show that stimulating production of hamartin offered greater protection for the neurons.

Professor Buchan says: 'This is causally related to cell survival. If we block hamartin, the neurons die when blood flow is stopped. If we put hamartin back, the cells survive once more.'

Finally, the researchers were able to identify the biological pathway through which hamartin acts to enable the nerve cells to cope with damage when starved of energy and oxygen.

The group points out that knowing the natural biological mechanism that leads to neuroprotection opens up the possibility of developing drugs that mimic hamartin's effect.




Professor Buchan says: 'There is a great deal of work ahead if this is to be translated into the clinic, but we now have a neuroprotective strategy for the first time. Our next steps will be to see if we can find small molecule drug candidates that mimic what hamartin does and keep brain cells alive.

'While we are focusing on stroke, neuroprotective drugs may also be of interest in other conditions that see early death of brain cells including Alzheimer's and motor neuron disease,' he suggests.

brain

Source: FNA

Is Itai Dzamara eyeing the US Green Card?

Yes
18.98%
No
75.18%
Not sure
5.84%
411

Comments

News Updates

Email:

Latest News

NRZ workers stage salary arrears demo - Disgruntled National Railways ...

by Staff reporter | 27 April 2015 | 633 Views

Zanu PF will not 'lose sleep' over MDC-T election boycott but will los...

by Patrick Guramatunhu | 27 April 2015 | 911 Views

The EU's latest migrants' strategy and South Africa's xenophobic viole...

by Dr Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, | 27 April 2015 | 1554 Views

Malawians survive attack - A group of eight Malawian men are being kep...

by Levie Tsongo, Cape Town | 27 April 2015 | 2330 Views

'Mnangagwa stop intimidating villagers' - Heal Zimbabwe

by Stephen Jakes | 27 April 2015 | 1845 Views

Boko Haram scare in Zimbabwe - The Central Intelligence Organisation ...

by Stephen Jakes | 27 April 2015 | 5042 Views

Systems thinking as a tool to harness organizational learning - All hu...

by Temba Munsaka | 27 April 2015 | 739 Views

ZUJ to launch Press Freedom day book - The Zimbabwe Union of Journalis...

by Stephen Jackson | 27 April 2015 | 640 Views

Gold mine executive comments on the current working environment in Zim...

by Edison Investment Research | 27 April 2015 | 1223 Views

Tsvangirai stop waffling and put your house in order

by Peacemaker Zano | 27 April 2015 | 2131 Views

Dzamara demo foiled, cops impound cars - POLICE on Saturday morning fo...

by Staff Reporter | 27 April 2015 | 2843 Views

Those who say Mugabe must go must shut up - Zanu PF youth member - Zan...

by Stephen Jackson | 27 April 2015 | 1677 Views

Mugabe's govt neglecting Bulawayo for voting MDC-T, says Mphoko - VICE...

by Staff reporter | 27 April 2015 | 1956 Views

Zimbabwe counterfeiter sent on design and print course in UK jail - A ...

by Staff reporters | 27 April 2015 | 1993 Views

'Zanu-PF not bothered by MDC poll boycott' - ZANU-PF spokesperson Simo...

by Staff Reporter | 27 April 2015 | 958 Views

'Ndebele nation consists of many tribes including the Shona people' - ...

by Concerned Citizen | 27 April 2015 | 2300 Views

Mugabe returns home from Asia - President Mugabe returned home this mo...

by Staff reporter | 27 April 2015 | 1635 Views

PSL in goals - 99 scores from 66 players - The Castle Lager Premier L...

by Thobekile Zhou | 27 April 2015 | 1626 Views

Police biased against men who report cases of gender based violence - ...

by Marvelous Moyo | 27 April 2015 | 1181 Views

Toll gates collections treble - ZINARA'S revenue collections from toll...

by Lloyd Gumbo | 27 April 2015 | 2217 Views

Motorist runs over traffic cop at roadblock - A BULAWAYO police office...

by Loveness Bepete | 27 April 2015 | 3703 Views

Tsvangirai threatens to evict resettled farmers - MDC-T leader, Morgan...

by Walter Mswazie | 27 April 2015 | 2786 Views

Guta Ra Mwari leader's son buried - CHEGUTU West Member of Parliament ...

by Mashudu Netsianda | 27 April 2015 | 3143 Views

Italian Mafia smuggles $450 million Zimbabwean diamonds - A Sicilian M...

by Staff reporter | 27 April 2015 | 1985 Views

Grace Mugabe dumps 'Gang of Four' ....as - knives sharpen against Kas...

by Staff reporter | 27 April 2015 | 5760 Views

Kasukuwere dismisses alleged rift with Mnangangwa - Zanu-PF national p...

by Staff reporter | 27 April 2015 | 1469 Views

Pioneer Coaches lays off 80 workers - Some 80 workers at Pioneer Coach...

by Staff reporter | 27 April 2015 | 2309 Views

Granny (93) assaulted over child maintenance by 20 year old

by Staff Reporter | 27 April 2015 | 1332 Views

Bulawayo water safest in the country - ZimStat

by Staff Reporter | 27 April 2015 | 1063 Views

Entertainment

Chimbetu faces arrest - Dendera musician Tryson Chimbetu is facing ar...

by Tawanda Marwizi | 27 April 2015 | 2746 Views

Cassper Nyovest overwhelmed by the warm reception from Zimbabweans - ...

by Bongani Ndlovu | 27 April 2015 | 2641 Views

Big Nuzz finally dates Byo

by Staff Reporter | 27 April 2015 | 1046 Views

Emily Kachote crowned Miss World Zimbabwe 2015 - Beautiful, Emily Tata...

by Staff reporter | 26 April 2015 | 3360 Views

Cassper Nyovest's show not for free - SOUTH African, rapper Cassper Ny...

by Tafadzwa Zimoyo | 23 April 2015 | 3349 Views

Charambas cancel SA tour due to xenophobia - Celebrated gospel artiste...

by Staff reporter | 23 April 2015 | 2504 Views

DJ Sbu's MoFaya hits Bulawayo - Controversial South African TV and ra...

by Staff reporter | 21 April 2015 | 6766 Views
iBlog

Rules Or Relationship

The dog does not need a lead to go for a walk. its owner can just speak a word and the dog responds. now, we are not comparing ourselves to dogs, we are comparing performance-based christian living to relationship-based christian living. big, big ... Read More
LindaDiokpa 30 December 2014 ago

Four In 10 Americans Face Regular Online Fraud Attacks

Microsoft offers four primary tips to help protect users from identity theft:• be selfish and defensive with personal information by not sharing sensitive details in emails, and instant and text messages• create, use and keep secret so-called “... Read More
SecNews 24 October 2014 ago