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Swedish researchers have discovered a simple and rapid treatment that would limit brain damage after a stroke. For now, it has not yet been tested in humans.

Stroke is a medical emergency that requires immediate therapeutic intervention to prevent the loss of millions of neurons. Everything is often a matter of hours. But Swedish researchers have discovered a neuroprotective treatment which, even administered a week after the stroke, would limit the progression of brain damage. A treatment that is all the more simple and rapid as it is administered nasally.

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No more running after time

The key molecule of this new treatment tested on mice is a peptide (C3a), which plays an important role in the body’s immune system, as well as in the development and plasticity of the brain.

“With this treatment, there is no need to race against the clock,” says neuroimmunologist Marcela Pekna from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. “All stroke patients could receive it, even those who arrive at the hospital too late for thrombolysis or thrombectomy. It may even improve patients’ prognosis after clot removal.”

A study conducted (for the moment) on mice

To test this new treatment, scientists induced artificial ischemic stroke (the most common type of stroke) in mice. Nose drops given after one week helped mice recover motor function faster and more completely, compared to a placebo group.

However, the researchers point out that this treatment must be administered one week after the stroke, because earlier it would risk increasing the number of inflammatory cells in the brain.

Source : Complement C3a treatment accelerates recovery after stroke via modulation of astrocyte reactivity and cortical connectivityJournal of clinical investigation, June 2023

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