Researcher discusses novel ways to limit stroke damage

Feb 24, 2010

Can using a simple blood-pressure cuff limit damage from strokes caused by decreased blood supply to the brain?

An emerging field of study is working to see whether using this blood-pressure cuff or other methods of "training the brain" could help reduce damage from a stroke as it is occurring while a patient is being transported to the hospital.

An up-to-date review of the research - called stroke ischemic preconditioning - will be presented by Brian Silver, M.D., a Henry Ford Hospital neurologist and stroke specialist, at the International Stroke Conference held in San Antonio.

"Ischemic preconditioning is a novel technique for potentially improving tissue survival following ," says Dr. Silver. "Human trials in a variety of conditions, including stroke, are underway to assess the efficacy and safety of this intervention."

Ischemic preconditioning has been tested as a way to limit harmful effects of reduced blood flow to the heart and liver, as well as a potential means to improve performance in competition swimmers. The goal of preconditioning is to prepare the brain to tolerate reduced without lasting damage.

Ischemic preconditioning is an intervention whereby reduction of blood supply to an organ is applied in order to produce tolerance to reduced blood supply in that organ or a remote organ. The intervention should not produce when applied but rather stress the organ so that it can adapt to a lower level of blood supply.

The National Institutes of Health list 53 human studies of ischemic preconditioning to date, most targeting conditions other than stroke.

In an ongoing study in Denmark, Dr. Silver says a blood-pressure cuff is inflated above the patient's normal pressure for five minutes, than released for a five-minute rest period. This is repeated four times. The ischemic intervention is applied to the arm with the aim of limiting the damage occurring in the brain.

"All of this research is driving us to re-think how we can develop new ways to limit the damage caused by , one of the leading causes of disability in the U.S.," says Dr. Silver. "Even though precondition is still in its infancy, it's a field that shows great promise."

Explore further: A high-fat diet may alleviate mitochondrial disease

Related Stories

Children can have recurrent strokes

Feb 24, 2010

Children can have strokes, and the strokes can recur, usually within a month, according to pediatric researchers. Unfortunately, the strokes often go unrecognized the first time, and the child does not receive treatment before ...

Recommended for you

A high-fat diet may alleviate mitochondrial disease

7 hours ago

Mice that have a genetic version of mitochondrial disease can easily be mistaken for much older animals by the time they are nine months old: they have thinning grey hair, osteoporosis, poor hearing, infertility, ...

Cheek muscles hold up better than leg muscles in space

7 hours ago

It is well known that muscles need resistance (gravity) to maintain optimal health, and when they do not have this resistance, they deteriorate. A new report published in the July 2015 issue of The FASEB Journal, however, sugges ...

Sialic acid: A key to unlocking brain disorders

10 hours ago

A new report published in the July 2015 issue of The FASEB Journal suggests that a common molecule found in higher animals, including humans, affects brain structure. This molecule may play a significant role in how brain ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.