AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 27, Number 3, 2018

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UCI Researchers Identify New Cause of Brain Bleeds

A team of researchers including UCI project scientist Rachita Sumbria, PhD and UCI neurologist Mark J. Fisher, MD have provided, for the first time, evidence that blood deposits in the brain may not require a blood vessel tear.  The researchers found that brain endothelial cells, the cells that line blood vessels of the brain, have the capacity for engulfing red blood cells and depositing them outside the blood vessels and into the substance of the brain, without requiring a disruption of the vasculature. 

“It has long been believed that a tear or rupture of a brain blood vessel is the cause of cerebral microbleeds,” said Fisher, a professor of neurology at the UCI School of Medicine.  “While more confirmatory work needs to be done, our study points to an entirely new direction in efforts to eliminate brain bleeding and its consequences.”

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