Breaking News

Ability of the brain to protect Itself from damage revealed

by Tech Reporter
25 February 2013 | 3635 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
20.37%
No
73.83%
Not sure
5.79%
535

Comments

News Updates

Email:

Latest News

Ncube blame failure to 'operationalize' Electoral Act for rigged 2013 ...

by Wilbert Mukori | 22 May 2015 | 1138 Views

NetOne to launch 5G network - MOBILE network provider, NetOne will lau...

by Staff reporter | 22 May 2015 | 2004 Views

Gugurahundi devoured my bi-ethnic background - Pt 1 - My name is Mandl...

by Nomazulu Thata: taken from eBook 'Sweetmother' | 22 May 2015 | 2721 Views

Soldier bashes motorist for refusing him a lift - A soldier based in M...

by Staff reporter | 22 May 2015 | 3080 Views

Kasukuwere is gay and power hungry - Video - Temba Mliswa yesterday re...

by Staff reporter | 22 May 2015 | 3237 Views

Elections: When Non - Participation is Important - Welshman Ncube on ...

by Welshman Ncube | 22 May 2015 | 1399 Views

'F*****', Jonathan Moyo loses it on Twitter

by Staff Reporter | 22 May 2015 | 5108 Views

Man with huge manhood infuriates sex workers by using it on goats - A ...

by Staff Reporter | 22 May 2015 | 7818 Views

Prophet fatally stabs a soldier - A 28-YEAR-OLD man who claimed to be ...

by Staff reporter | 22 May 2015 | 2828 Views

Zanu-PF expels more heavyweights - The Zanu-PF politburo has expelled ...

by Staff reporter | 22 May 2015 | 4107 Views

Pregnant wife torments hubby, issues death threats

by Staff Reporter | 22 May 2015 | 2437 Views

Tsvangirai is fighting from the wrong corner

by Peacemaker Zano | 22 May 2015 | 1887 Views

Man kills son, cut of ear and collect blood in lunch box

by Staff Reporter | 22 May 2015 | 2284 Views

Sikhala strongly remembers Dzamara

by Stephen Jakes | 22 May 2015 | 1707 Views

There is a political hand behind Cuthbert Dube's firing

by Stephen Jakes | 22 May 2015 | 1818 Views

Migrant workers union laments targeting of cross border buses by robbe...

by Stephen Jakes | 22 May 2015 | 1706 Views

Let those who want to vote go and vote - I totally agree with the nee...

by Bekezela Maduma Fuzwayo (Facebook extract) | 22 May 2015 | 1113 Views

Harare Residents Trust saddened by death of members - Harare Residents...

by Stephen Jakes | 22 May 2015 | 1140 Views

Duo defraud employer of over $6600

by Stephen Jakes | 22 May 2015 | 1526 Views

Witchcraft scare at High School, 80 pupils sent back home - About 80 p...

by Staff Reporter | 22 May 2015 | 3427 Views

Man to hang for ritual murder - A Karoi man who killed his nine-year-o...

by Daniel Nemukuyu | 22 May 2015 | 1773 Views

Zimbabwe army to veto Mnangagwa Presidency - Hardline military and int...

by Itai Mushekwe | 22 May 2015 | 4985 Views

'Weak' Mujuru failed us -Temba Mliswa

by Staff Reporter | 22 May 2015 | 3038 Views

Disabled child ruins marriage - A TEENAGER who was impregnated aged 14...

by Staff reporter | 22 May 2015 | 1956 Views

Entertainment

All set for Jah Prayzah album launch

by Brendon Nyoni | 22 May 2015 | 1336 Views

Nicki Minaj teams up with Beyoncé In 'Feeling Myself' Video

by Staff Reporter | 19 May 2015 | 4249 Views

Lady Bee - Manyemwe / Vavengi - (UK) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

by Staff Reporter | 18 May 2015 | 2876 Views

Gwala, Kapfupi drama comedy ready - THE hilarious Mahlalela drama come...

by Lance Chigodo | 17 May 2015 | 3490 Views

Tsvangirai worship album out - GABORONE-BASED MDC-T activists and prot...

by Staff reporter | 16 May 2015 | 5252 Views

Ringo, Winnie Khumalo Harare gig in doubt

by Staff Reporter | 14 May 2015 | 4141 Views

Oliver Mtukudzi takes fans for granted?

by Staff Reporter | 12 May 2015 | 6299 Views

Hit-makers release forth album

by Vusmann | 12 May 2015 | 3502 Views
iBlog

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

Auslogics Boostspeed 7 - More Powerful And User-friendly Than Ever

Auslogics boostspeed 7 - more powerful and user-friendly than ever!wondering how to fix slow computer performance? experts recommend auslogics boostspeed 7 - the most comprehensive system optimization software! auslogics boostspeed 7 is here!the bran... Read More
ITnews 26 August 2014 ago