Washington, June 2 (ANI): A synthetic version of a naturally occurring peptide may be able to create new blood vessels and repair damaged nerve cells in lab animals, according to researchers.
"This successful experiment holds promise for treating clot-induced strokes in humans," says study lead author Daniel C. Morris, M.D., senior staff physician in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Henry Ford Hospital.
"Neurorestorative therapy is the next frontier in the treatment of stroke."
Researchers added the synthetic peptide Thymosin beta 4 to a group of drug treatments - including statins - used for neurorestorative therapy to activate repair mechanisms, which mimic cellular changes that occur in the early stages of brain development.
Adult rats were dosed with Thymosin beta 4 one day after they were subjected to a blockage in the cerebral artery, then given four more doses, once every three days. Rats treated only with saline were used as a control group.
After eight weeks, the Thymosin beta 4 group showed significant overall improvement compared to the control group.
The researchers concluded that the peptide improved blood vessel density as well as promoted a certain type of immature brain cells to differentiate into mature cells, which produce myelin to protect axons in nerve cells.
The findings will be presented on June 3 at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine in Phoenix. (ANI)