A stroke occurs when blood flow to your brain is cut off. The key to making the best stroke recovery as possible is fast treatment, and researchers have found a potential new way to treat the aftereffects of stroke.
Possible Stroke Treatment
Could it be that the treatment to stroke lies within the brain itself? Possibly: Researchers found that astrocytes, star-shaped neuroglial cells in the brain and spinal cord, can protect brain tissue and reduce disability that is caused by a stroke or other ischemic brain disorders.
The researchers used a protein that turns genes on, known as Olig2, to differentiate human embryonic stem cells into astrocytes.
This produced a new type of astrocytes called Olgi2PC-Astros.
The researchers then compared treatment with Olig2PC-Astros, treatment with another type of astrocytes called NPC-Astros, and no treatment on three groups of rats that had ischemic brain injuries.
The group of rats that had the transplant of Olig2PC-Astros had better brain protection and showed a higher level of a protein that is associated with nerve growth and survival.
The rats with no treatment and those treated with NPC-Astros had much higher levels of lost neurons.
To determine if the Olig2PC-Astros impacted behavior, researchers used a water maze that required the rats to navigate the maze based on memory and not on sight. Fourteen days after treatment, the rats with Olig2PC-Astros reached the end of the maze in less time then the rats who were treated with NPC-Astros and those who didn’t receive treatment.