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: Scientists discover new clues to how weight loss is regulated

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

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

Team finds key signaling pathway in cause of preeclampsia

3 hours ago

A team of researchers led by a Wayne State University School of Medicine associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology has published findings that provide novel insight into the cause of preeclampsia, the leading cause ...

Rapid test to diagnose severe sepsis

7 hours ago

A new test, developed by University of British Columbia researchers, could help physicians predict within an hour if a patient will develop severe sepsis so they can begin treatment immediately.

User comments : 0