Researchers have made a groundbreaking discovery, nasal drops containing a particular chemical can help mice recover from the detrimental biological repercussions of a stroke.
The fact that the medication can be administered seven days after a stroke gives hope that those who cannot obtain early intervention will still be able to benefit from protection against the devastating symptoms of the condition, claims Science Alert.
A press release from the University of Gothenburg states that the multicenter study that has just been published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation had researchers conducting parallel testing of an experimental stroke therapy on mice. Researchers from the Czech Academy of Sciences collaborated on the study.
The key ingredient in these drops is a complement peptide known as C3a, which is composed of a series of amino acids and has been noted for its important function in the immune system and the development and adaptation of the brain. The ultimate objective is to apply this therapy to people, which could revolutionise stroke rehabilitation procedures.
"With this method, there's no need to race against the clock," neuro-immunologist Marcela Pekna of the University of Gothenburg in Sweden informed Science Alert.
Marcela Pekna continued, "If the treatment is used in clinical practice, all stroke patients could receive it, even those who arrive at the hospital too late for thrombolysis or thrombectomy. Those who have remaining disability after the clot is removed could improve with this treatment too."
It is critical to intentionally delay the delivery of the C3a peptide due to its capacity to increase the presence of inflammatory cells in the brain, which can have adverse consequences instead of beneficial ones if applied too early.
To assess the effectiveness of the treatment, mice were given a simulated ischemic stroke, the most typical type of stroke. After a week, the mice receiving nasal drops had much superior motor function recovery compared to a placebo-treated control group.
This discovery underlines the intriguing potential of nasal drops to promote a quicker and more thorough recovery from strokes.
The most current study offers insightful information regarding C3a's effects on the brain. Researchers found that the peptide significantly improved the establishment of synaptic connections between nerve cells in the mice's brains using MRI scans. This finding advances knowledge of C3a's neurological effects and its potential to foster neuronal connection.
Neuroscientist Milos Pekny from the University of Gothenburg quoted, "Our results show that the C3a peptide affects the function of astrocytes – that is, cells that control many of the nerve cells' functions in both the healthy and the diseased brain – and which signals astrocytes send to nerve cells."
The use of nasal drops containing the C3a peptide has the potential to significantly change these data. Although this medication has so far been proven effective in mice, more research is needed to ensure its efficacy in humans. This strategy is another one that experts are considering as they work to combat the effects of strokes.
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