AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 26, Number 1, 2017

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Brain Generates Replacement Cells After Stroke

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UCLA researchers have shown that the brain can be impaired – and brain function can be recovered – after a stroke in animals. The discovery could have important implications for treating mind-robbing condition known as a white matter stroke, a major cause of dementia. White matter stroke is a type of ischemic stroke, in which a blood vessel carrying oxygen to the brain is blocked. Unlike large artery blockages or transient ischemic attacks, individual white matter strokes, which occur in tiny blood vessels deep within the brain, typically go unnoticed but accumulate over time. They accelerate Azlheimer’s disease due to damage done to areas of the brain involved in memory, planning, walking and problem-solving. “Despite how common and devastating white matter stroke is there has been little understanding of how the brain responds and if it can recover,” said Dr. Thomas Carmichael, senior author of the study and a professor of neurology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. “By studying the mechanisms and limitations of brain repair in this type of stroke, we will be able to identify new therapies to prevent disease progression and enhance recovery.” 

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