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Stroke

Bile Acid May Save Brain Cells After Stroke

20 years, 11 months ago

10337  0
Posted on May 03, 2003, 3 a.m. By Bill Freeman

US researchers have discovered that a bile acid could help to stop the cascade of events that leads to cell death in the hours after stroke or head injury. Dr Clifford Steer of the University of Minnesota, and colleagues discovered that injecting an acid called into the artery supplying the brains of rats who had suffered a haemorrhagic stroke tauroursodeoxycholic acid (TUDCA) reduced cut the number of cells that underwent apoptosis (cellular suicide) as a result of the stroke by 50%.

US researchers have discovered that a bile acid could help to stop the cascade of events that leads to cell death in the hours after stroke or head injury. Dr Clifford Steer of the University of Minnesota, and colleagues discovered that injecting an acid called into the artery supplying the brains of rats who had suffered a haemorrhagic stroke tauroursodeoxycholic acid (TUDCA) reduced cut the number of cells that underwent apoptosis (cellular suicide) as a result of the stroke by 50%. By halving the rate of apoptosis, the injection also reduced the amount of physical damage to the brain by 50%. According to Steer, TUDCA Works by inducing survival pathways in injured cells while inhibiting the destructive pathways at the same time. The cascade of events that triggers apoptosis in the hours after stroke and head injury is extremely damaging, thus ways to prevent this from happening could significantly reduce the disability experienced by stroke and head injury victims. The great thing about TUDCA is that it occurs naturally in the body, can cross the blood-brain barrier, and appears to cause no side effects when used as a drug. TUDCA is also being developed as a potential treatment for the currently fatal neurodegenerative disease Huntington's disease.

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 10.1073/pnas.1031632100. Published online before print 29th April 2003.

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