Breaking News

Ability of the brain to protect Itself from damage revealed

by Tech Reporter
25 February 2013 | 3062 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 Tsvangirai's BIG TENT leaking?

Yes
25.37%
No
32.09%
Not bothered
42.54%
134

Comments

Latest Classifieds (Click Here For More)

News Updates

Email:

Latest News

Doctor nailed in child maintenance case

by Staff Reporter | 23 September 2014 | 648 Views

Bulawayo endorses Mugabe

by Staff Reporter | 23 September 2014 | 850 Views

Ebola centre in Harare

by Staff Reporter | 23 September 2014 | 857 Views

Byo-bound Zupco bus dumps passengers in Gweru - A Bulawayo-bound Zupc...

by Staff Reporter | 23 September 2014 | 1195 Views

Water and sanitation project launched in Mutare - The water and sanit...

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2014 | 273 Views

Gono bid for Manicaland senate thwarted

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2014 | 1014 Views

Chinamasa extends begging bowl, queries isolation by World Bank, IFC

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2014 | 597 Views

Tsvangirai's condolence message on the death of renowned economist Eri...

by Morgan Tsvangirai | 23 September 2014 | 1446 Views

Dr 'Mzee' Muzenda left a perfect model - This month in 2003, Zimbabwe ...

by John Sigauke | 23 September 2014 | 1252 Views

Economic meltdown is real Mugabe must step down or he will take it ove...

by Wilbert Mukori | 23 September 2014 | 2058 Views

Bulilima schools urged to prioritise Kalanga language - The Bulilima d...

by Staff reporter / Wendy Dube | 23 September 2014 | 971 Views

I am looking for Makepesi/Dewa family from Matojeni - WhatsApp update ...

by Collet Moyo | 23 September 2014 | 956 Views

'Police complicit in the breakdown in the rule of the law' - David Con...

by David Conolly | 23 September 2014 | 1749 Views

Dave Conolly's statement on further contempt of court by Dr Ray Ndhluk...

by David Conolly | 23 September 2014 | 1124 Views

Full Scoan Building Report Part 1 - T. B. Joshua has been predicting a...

by John Haward - Freelance Journalist | 23 September 2014 | 3715 Views

Dr Stem's dose of encouragement - More Tips for teens

by Dr Stem | 23 September 2014 | 1137 Views

Brussels is not a sincere trading partner - It all started as a sincer...

by John Sigauke | 23 September 2014 | 1485 Views

Man's genitals and lips cut off in horrific ritual murder - A Lower G...

by Staff Reporter | 23 September 2014 | 4329 Views

Married woman rapes grade 6 pupil - A sex-starved married woman from B...

by Staff Reporter | 23 September 2014 | 6642 Views

USA created Al-Qaeda and the ISIS terror group - MUCH like Al Qaeda, t...

by Garikai Chengu | 23 September 2014 | 2218 Views

'Grace Mugabe PhD trashes UZ credibility,' says Makoni

by Independent Foreign Service. | 23 September 2014 | 4278 Views

Fist fight at MDC-T

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2014 | 3236 Views

Zanu-PF probes 43 000 membership cards - Zanu-PF's Mashonaland West pr...

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2014 | 1642 Views

Mugabe race gets dirtier - Despite moves by President Mugabe to bar Za...

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2014 | 4442 Views

Mugabe aides on US shopping spree - MEMBERS of President Robert Mugabe...

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2014 | 3388 Views

Zimbabwe to receive 'special coins' by November - The $20 million wort...

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2014 | 3273 Views

Man kills father for 'conniving' with mum to bewitch him

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2014 | 1804 Views

Shock as woman discovers hubby has two other 'wives'

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2014 | 5015 Views

Man threatens wife's 'lover' with ulunyoka - PANDEMONIUM rocked Kudzan...

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2014 | 2313 Views

Mum 'roasts' son's hands over groundnuts

by Staff reporter | 23 September 2014 | 1547 Views

Entertainment

The Vickie Storm Show donates PC to the Ian Henney foundation

by Staff Reporter | 23 September 2014 | 681 Views

Big Brother Africa reveals Zimbabwe's second representative - WITH 12 ...

by Bongani Ndlovu | 23 September 2014 | 1949 Views

Wilfred Tichaona Mafrika aka Nyamasvisva - Biography

by Innocent Fungurani | 22 September 2014 | 1206 Views

Miss Zimbabwe USA scouts for talent - TWENTY-SEVEN-YEAR-OLD internatio...

by Staff reporter | 22 September 2014 | 850 Views

Ubuntu Bako Bulawayo's Launch Event Party in Manchester - The 4th Octo...

by Staff Reporter | 21 September 2014 | 1252 Views

Intwasa set to liven Bulawayo night life - BULAWAYO will this Tuesday...

by Pabalelo Tlou | 21 September 2014 | 1130 Views

Abafana bako Godlwayo - UThabani Dibi Sibanda odume ngokuba yiNyosi eh...

by Staff Reporter | 20 September 2014 | 1927 Views

Game over as Generations Soapie goes off air - The South African Broad...

by Staff reporter | 20 September 2014 | 4465 Views
iBlog

Yet Another Wave Of Digital Destruction Is Coming

Malware fever keeps on raging, taking sophisticated forms to wreak havoc around the worldwide web. even if your system is guarded thoroughly, you are still skating on thin ice, so you should better keep your eyes open and think twice before you make ... Read More
SecNews 02 March 2014 ago

Protect Your Greatest Small Business Asset: Time

if your work week is way more than 40 hours, your smartphone is glued to your hand, and your to-do list is multiple pages of overdue tasks—you know how valuable every minute of your time is.your smartphone and tablet make doing business from anyw... Read More
Sergey 05 September 2014 ago