Drug may help stroke victims' brains self-repair
A discovery by researchers at Sweden’s Lund University may give doctors more time and more tools to treat stroke victims. A study of laboratory rats led by Professor Tadeuz Weiloch, has identified a neural receptor known as Sigma-1 that can be activated to stimulate recovery after stroke by enhancing cellular transport of biomolecules required for brain repair.
“Today we have very limited treatment options for stroke victims. For patients who arrive at the hospital more than four and a half hours after the stroke, there is actually no treatment available,” Professor Wieloch said.
An international clinical trial now underway on a Sigma-1 activator may eventually be used to help stroke victims recover cognitive and physical function more quickly. But Professor Wieloch underlines that it will not be a magic bullet able to instantly repair the brain. The rat study shows that rigorous therapies will still be required with the Sigma-1 stimulator, but that they may have better and more rapid results than without the drug.