Laser sheds light on stroke patients

Jan 04, 2006

A technique that creates and images blood clots in the brain may help researchers understand the small strokes implicated in many forms of dementia.

University of California, San Diego researchers used a laser to trigger the formation of individual blood clots in tiny arteries of the brains of anesthetized rats to monitor the resulting changes in blood flow.

They say their study provides a way to understand small strokes common in elderly humans. These strokes often cause no immediate symptoms, but they are thought to contribute to dementia and may ultimately cause larger strokes.

The study is published in the online edition of the journal Public Library of Science Biology.

In the study, the team members used tightly focused laser light to excite a dye that they had injected into the bloodstream. The excited dye reacted with oxygen to form a free radical, which "nicked" the cells lining the blood vessel at the target location, and triggered the natural blood clotting cascade.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: 'Amazing' physics demos to keep practical science alive

Related Stories

Recommended for you

'Amazing' physics demos to keep practical science alive

55 minutes ago

With school students in England bracing themselves for new-style GCSE science exams that are based entirely on written tests, Physics World has teamed up with Neil Downie to put together "five amazing physics demonstrations" that h ...

Discovering missing body parts of ancient fossils

11 hours ago

Certain specimens of the fossil Dickinsonia are incomplete because ancient currents lifted them from the sea floor, a team of researchers led by paleontologists at the University of California, Riverside has fo ...

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.