Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Northwestern Widens 'Treatment Window' For Brain Injury And Stroke

Date:
September 4, 2003
Source:
Northwestern University
Summary:
Scientists from Northwestern University report that a single injection of a chemical they created -- given up to six hours after brain injury or stroke -- protects against additional brain cell death for a week or longer.

In the treatment of stroke, there is currently only a three-hour "window of therapeutic opportunity" to prevent additional brain cell damage and only one medication approved to improve blood flow to oxygen-deprived neurons near the injury, thereby minimizing potentially debilitating side effects.

Now, scientists from Northwestern University report that a single injection of a chemical they created -- given up to six hours after brain injury or stroke -- protects against additional brain cell death for a week or longer. An article describing the new compound and its activity in the body appears in the September online issue of the Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters.

The compound inhibits activity of an enzyme called death-associated protein kinase (DAPK), known to be an early player in the chain of molecular events leading to apoptosis, or programmed cell death. Earlier studies showed that levels of DAPK increase markedly prior to neuron death and that apoptosis increases rapidly hours after the onset of a stroke in laboratory models.

"Results of this study support the idea that targeting protein kinases, which function early in programmed cell death pathways, could identify new therapeutic approaches to acute brain injury," said Northwestern scientist Martin Watterson, who led the study. Watterson is John G. Searle Professor of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, professor of molecular pharmacology and biological chemistry at the Feinberg School of Medicine and director of the Drug Discovery Program at Northwestern University.

The timing of DAPK's increase in those early studies, coupled with its ability to initiate cell death, suggested to Watterson and co-researchers that a drug that inhibits DAPK activity might prevent or reduce neuron death in the critical period following brain injury or stroke.

The researchers created a small-molecule DAPK inhibitor based on data derived from their own earlier experiments. They had developed a quantitative assay for DAPK that subsequently helped them design methods for identifying candidate DAPK inhibitors, and later, with collaborators at Vanderbilt University, determined the three-dimensional structure of a region on the DAPK molecule that is essential to triggering programmed cell death.

While initial results with the DAPK inhibitor provide a precedent for drug discovery research in acute brain injury, Watterson explained that the compound's molecular properties did not make it an ideal candidate for drug development. However, now that a candidate inhibitor has been identified, the researchers will use the region on the DAPK molecule as a framework and employ fragment-based, structure-assisted drug design technology to create related, or analog, inhibitors with more desirable molecular properties.

Other researchers on this study were Anastasia V. Velentza, Mark S. Wainwright, Magdalena Zasadzki, Saalida Mirzoeva, Andrew M. Schumacher and Pamela J. Focia, Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University; Jacques Haiech, Universite' Louis Pasteur, Illkirch, France; and Martin Egli, Vanderbilt University, Nashville.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Northwestern University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Northwestern University. "Northwestern Widens 'Treatment Window' For Brain Injury And Stroke." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 September 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/09/030904075619.htm>.
Northwestern University. (2003, September 4). Northwestern Widens 'Treatment Window' For Brain Injury And Stroke. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/09/030904075619.htm
Northwestern University. "Northwestern Widens 'Treatment Window' For Brain Injury And Stroke." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/09/030904075619.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Do Obese Women Have 'Food Learning Impairment'?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) Yale researchers tested 135 men and women, and it was only obese women who were deemed to have "impaired associative learning." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Does Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks Boost Urge To Drink?

Does Mixing Alcohol and Energy Drinks Boost Urge To Drink?

Newsy (July 18, 2014) A new study suggests that mixing alcohol with energy drinks makes you want to keep the party going. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pot Cooking Class Teaches Responsible Eating

Pot Cooking Class Teaches Responsible Eating

AP (July 18, 2014) Following the nationwide trend of eased restrictions on marijuana use, pot edibles are growing in popularity. One Boston-area cooking class is teaching people how to eat pot responsibly. (July 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins