When a stroke occurs, the brain can be severely damaged. There are two kinds of strokes, an ischemic stroke where a blood clot deprives the brain of oxygen and a hemorrhagic stroke where a blood vessel within the brain ruptures and bleeds. In the case of a hemorrhagic stroke, the result can be neuroinflammation or swelling of the brain that is life-threatening. Treating this complication is tricky, but scientists at the Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix AZ may have found a new way to reduce this swelling.
By targeting a specific protein called TSPO, the team found that brain edema was reduced in mice. The study used mice because their brains react similarly to a human brain. For this study, the researchers induced an intracerebral hemorrhage in the mice and then targeted the TSPO protein. The swelling in the mice that were treated this way was significantly reduced. The team hopes to move forward with more research to see if the same result can be reproduced in humans.