Therapy May Reverse Stroke Damage By Jump-Starting Growth Of Nerve Fibers

Loyola University Health System

A new technique that jump-starts the growth of nerve fibers could reverse much of the damage caused by strokes, researchers report in the Jan. 7, 2011, issue of the journal Stroke.

"This therapy may be used to restore function even when it's given long after ischemic brain damage has occurred," senior author Gwendolyn Kartje, MD, PhD, and colleagues write.

The article has been published online in advance of the print edition.

Kartje is director of the Neuroscience Institute of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine and chief of neuroscience research at Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital.

Currently doctors can do little to limit stroke damage after the first day following a stroke. Most strokes are ischemic (caused by blood clots). A drug called tPA can limit damage but must be given within the first three hours for the greatest benefit -- and most patients do not receive treatment within that time frame.

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