Tuesday, March 17, 2020
Pain essays Vaccine Could Protect Against Stroke And Epilepsy Damage A new oral vaccine has offered new hope because of its effectiveness in protecting laboratory rats against brain damage from epilepsy and stroke, and might one day be used to help humans with the same conditions. The vaccine blocks a protein in the brain called NMDA, but does so only when epilepsy or stroke occur. The vaccine is released in the brain as needed and is protected from any side effects. During and colleagues immunized another group of rats and after five months induced stroke in them by blocking an artery in the brain. The rats still experienced strokes, but the size of the brain damage was 70 percent less in immunized rats compared with animals that didn't receive the treatment. This concept could be useful in treating other neurological disorders as well. NMDA is a receptor that responds to the chemical glutamate in the brain, the glutamate/NMDA complex is responsible for many normal brain functions like the development of neurons, learning and memory. Blocking the NMDA receptor in general could have damaging effects. However, the NMDA receptor is also involved in a chain of events that contribute to neurological damage from epilepsy, stroke and head injuries. To create the vaccine, the researchers added the gene that codes for the NMDA receptor to a virus. When this gene and virus combination enter the animal's bloodstream, the immune system creates antibodies to both the virus and NMDA. These antibodies circulate in the blood, but are prevented from entering the brain by the blood brain barrier, a tightly packed group of cells that line blood vessels in the brain. The blood brain barrier is a protective mechanism that prevents many large molecules, such as these antibodies, from entering the brain. Yet during times of neurological insult, like epilepsy and stroke, the blood brain barrier is compromised, and the antibodies do enter the brain. They then s...
Posted by Roxann Fogarty at 2:50 AM