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Longevity Briefs: Blood Replacement Therapy reduces Impact of Stroke

Posted on 9 September 2020

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Longevity briefs provides a short summary of a novel research, medicine, or technology that caught the attention of our researchers in Oxford, due to its potential to improve our health, wellbeing, and longevity.

Why is this research important: A stroke occurs when the blood supply to a region of the brain is impeded, this prevents oxygen and vital nutrients from reaching the brain tissue, causing the death of brain cells. In 2017, someone in the US suffers a stroke every 40 seconds. Every 4 minutes someone dies of a stroke. The cost of stroke in human lives alone makes the search for a treatment a venture of paramount importance.

What did the researchers do: A paper published in Nature Communications by a research team based at West Virginia University, USA, replaced the blood of mice that had suffered a stroke 6.5-7 hours previously, with whole blood obtained from healthy, young donor mice.

Mice treated with healthy donor blood following a stroke had less brain tissue death than control mice, as evidenced by less white material in the brain slices. When mice were given donor blood containing MMP-9, an enzyme that degrades the blood-brain barrier, the benefit of the blood replacement therapy was minimized.
REN ET AL., NAT COMMUN, 11:4078, 2020

Key takeaway(s) from this research: Following the blood replacement therapy the mice experienced a significant reduction in infarct volume, a measurement of a crucial consequence of stroke impact that causes clinical outcome, and improves neurological deficits. The researchers also observed reduction in inflammatory signal release and the immune response, and overall improved neurological deficit in the treated mice. This demonstrates a potential of using blood replacement therapy for brain protection from a stroke.

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