NOVEL BASIC SCIENCE TIP SHEET
- Pregnancy may help bodies’ response to stroke many years later
- Heart disease risk factors linked to brain degeneration in elderly
- Non-invasive nerve stimulation may limit stroke damage
- New technique locates risky genes for dangerous brain bleeds
ALL EMBARGOED FOR 8 a.m. PT/11 a.m. ET Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014
NOTE ALL TIMES ARE PACIFIC (PT). ALL TIPS ARE EMBARGOED UNTIL THE TIME OF PRESENTATION OR 3 P.M. PT/6 P.M. ET EACH DAY, WHICHEVER COMES FIRST. For more information Feb. 11-14, call the ASA News Media Staff Office at the San Diego Convention Center: (619) 525-6204. Before or after these dates, call the Communications Office in Dallas at (214) 706-1173. For public inquiries, call (800) AHA-USA1 (242-8721).
Abstract WMP43 (Room Hall G)
Pregnancy may help bodies’ response to stroke many years later
Fetal cells that linger in the mother’s bloodstream are drawn to the site of injury after a stroke and may aid in recovery, according to a study in mice presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2014.
During pregnancy, cells from the fetus pass into the mother’s bloodstream and some remain years after delivery.
In a mouse study, fetal cells (microchimeric cells) honed in to the area of stroke injury in female mice and later differentiated into blood vessel cells. This suggests fetal cells potentially may have a role in reestablishing blood flow to brain tissue.
Future studies on whether the microchimeric cells protect against stroke or aid in recovery, and the mechanisms by which they act, may help in understanding and improving female responses to brain injury in humans.
Note: Actual presentation is 5:45 p.m. PT Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014.
Abstract 51 (Room Ballroom 20BC)
Heart disease risk factors linked to brain degeneration in elderly
Heart disease risk factors accelerate the degeneration of brain tissue in areas associated with dementia, according to a study presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2014.
Researchers performed cognitive testing and brain imaging on 114 cognitively normal participants, average 73.9 years old, repeating the evaluation about 3.3 years later.
Researchers found that the higher the vascular risk factor score — based on a medical history of type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol — the faster the degeneration of the brain’s white matter and atrophy of gray matter in brain areas involved in the development of cognitive impairment and dementia.
Future studies should clarify the separate impact of each heart disease risk factor in accelerating brain aging.
Note: Actual presentation is 1:42 p.m. PT Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014.
Abstract WMP83 (Room Hall G)
Non-invasive nerve stimulation may limit stroke damage
Delivering electrical stimulation to the brain by non-invasively stimulating the vagus nerve through the skin provided significant protection from brain damage following a clot-induced stroke in rats, according to a study presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2014.
The vagus nerve is the longest cranial nerve. It contains motor and sensory fibers and, because it passes through the neck and thorax to the abdomen, has the widest distribution in the body.
Stimulating the vagus nerve through an implanted electrode can reduce the size of clot-induced strokes in rats, but the surgery-requiring approach is impractical for rapidly treating stroke in humans.
Researchers found that one hour of stimulation of the vagus nerve using surface electrodes applied to the external ear or the neck skin overlying the vagus nerve, beginning 30 minutes after the stroke was induced, led to a smaller area of brain tissue damage, better grip strength and improved scores on neurological tests for the rats.
Given its simplicity and the feasibility of using the approach shortly after the onset of symptoms, non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation holds promise for treating stroke in humans, researchers said.
Note: Actual presentation is 6:05 p.m. PT Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014
Abstract 181 (Room 30A-D)
New technique locates risky genes for dangerous brain bleeds
The chromosomal location of genes that make people susceptible to dangerous brain bleeds have been found, according to a study presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2014.
Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) — bleeding within the brain — is the most serious type of stroke, with the worst prognosis and no established treatment to initiate at the onset of symptoms. Genetic variation contributes to the risk of ICH, but until now, very little has been known about which genetic variants across the genome are the ones that raise the risk of ICH. By combining data from 6 genome-wide association studies involving 1,545 ICH cases and 1,481 controls, the International Stroke Genetics Consortium identified a new genomic region on chromosome 1 containing the PMF1 and SLC25A44 genes that increases ICH susceptibility. In addition, the investigators found several other genomic regions that may also influence an individual’s risk of ICH.
Note: Actual presentation is 8:30 a.m. PT Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014.
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