Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Common medicine helps repair brain after stroke, study in rats suggests

Date:
October 3, 2012
Source:
Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology
Summary:
Post-stroke inflammation slows down recovery and impairs brain plasticity, reveal new results. The popular anti-inflammatory drug ibuprofen restores the ability of brain cortex to reorganize – a process necessary for recovery of stroke-damaged functions.

Stroke destroys the nervous tissue structure. On the rat brain section cells are stained violet. Arrow points to the site of the stroke, where cells died.
Credit: Nencki Institute

Strokes often cause loss or impairment of vital brain functions -- such as speech, movement, vision or attention. Restoration of these functions is often possible, but difficult. One of the factors impeding brain plasticity is inflammation. A study on rats, carried out at the Nencki Institute in Warsaw, suggests that effectiveness of neurorehabilitation after a stroke can be improved by anti-inflammatory drugs.

Post-stroke inflammation slows down recovery and impairs brain plasticity, reveal the results from the lab of Professor Małgorzata Kossut at the Nencki Institute in Warsaw. The popular anti-inflammatory drug ibuprofen restores the ability of brain cortex to reorganize -- a process necessary for recovery of stroke-damaged functions.

"Our research was conducted on rats, but we have good reasons to suppose that in future our results will help improve effectiveness of rehabilitation of stroke patients," says Prof. Kossut.

The Nencki Institute team stresses that so far there are no proofs that the treatment will be effective in humans and that they did not investigate if the ibuprofen therapy prevents strokes, but concentrated on post-stroke recovery.

The most frequent cause of stroke is blocking of brain arteries. Without supply of oxygen, neurons die quickly. In the region of stroke-induced damage pathological changes cause decrease of brain tissue metabolism, impairment of neurotransmission and edema.

Brain control over physiological and voluntary functions may be lost, depending on the localization of the infarct. Impairments of movement, vision, speech and attention are frequent. In most cases these functions return either partially or completely. Sometimes they return spontaneously, more often after neurorehabilitation.

"In both instances recovery is based on neuroplasticity, the ability of the brain to reorganize, that is to change the properties of neurons and to alter the connections between them," says Dr. Monika Liguz-Lęcznar (Nencki Institute).

After a stroke, neuroplasticity is impaired. Scientists from the Nencki Institute suppose that this may be due to inflammation developing at the site of the stroke. The proof that decreasing inflammation helps neurorehabilitation came from experiments done on rats with experimentally induced stroke. The stroke was localized in a special region of the brain cortex, receiving information from whiskers.

The whiskers are important sensory organs of rodents, allowing the animals to orient themselves in their environment in darkness. Every whisker activates a small, precisely delineated chunk of brain cortex.

In healthy rats neuroplastic changes can be induced by cutting off some of the whiskers, that is by eliminating part of the sensory input to the brain. The brain reacts to that by letting the remaining whiskers take over more cortical space, expand their cortical representation, at the expense of the cut off ones.

"This plastic change does not occur when the site of stroke-induced damage is near the region of cortex 'belonging' to the whiskers. We showed that application of ibuprofen decreases inflammation and restores neuroplasticity -- the brain cortex reorganizes like in healthy animals," says Prof. Kossut.

The result obtained on rats indicates that ibuprofen (and probably other anti-inflammatory medicines) may be beneficial in treating stroke patients. Ibuprofen therapy should support brain plasticity by reducing post-stroke inflammation and so speed up recovery of functions lost due to the stroke. If the results on rats are verified in a proper clinical trial, they may be influential in shaping the treatment of stroke patients.

The research of Prof. Kossut's team on the effects of anti-inflammatory drugs on neuroplasticity was funded by the Polish-German Cooperation Program in Neuroscience and grants from the Ministry of Science and Education.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology. "Common medicine helps repair brain after stroke, study in rats suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121003111153.htm>.
Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology. (2012, October 3). Common medicine helps repair brain after stroke, study in rats suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121003111153.htm
Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology. "Common medicine helps repair brain after stroke, study in rats suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121003111153.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

Newsy (July 29, 2014) If you've been looking for love online, there's a chance somebody has been looking at how you're looking. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

Newsy (July 25, 2014) An online quiz from a required course at Ohio State is making waves for suggesting atheists are inherently smarter than Christians. Video provided by Newsy
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