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Protein that maintains brain functioning could protect against strokes

Protein that maintains brain functioning could protect against strokes
24th October 2011

A protein that enables the brain to keep functioning when it is starved of blood has been discovered by researchers from Edinburgh and Dundee universities.

The AMPK protein is hoped to offer a means by which at-risk patients can be protected from suffering permanent brain damage or death following a stroke.

Dr Sharlin Ahmed, research liaison officer at the Stroke Association, stated: "When a stroke occurs, the brain is starved of oxygen causing brain cells to become damaged or die.

"The findings could help us understand how we can protect brain cells when a strikes."

A hybrid drug, consisting of a molecule from curcumin and a chemical component of the spice turmeric, is also thought to affect the mechanisms that protect the brain during a stroke and regenerate brain cells.

The curcumin-hybrid compound does not attack clots in the brain caused by a stroke but repairs stroke damage at the molecular level that feed and support neurons.

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