Blood-brain barrier repair after stroke may prevent chronic brain deficits, USF preclinical study finds

Research to develop stroke therapies should consider that a compromised blood-brain barrier can trigger changes in brain areas remote from the initial damage

TAMPA, Fla.(March 25, 2014) – Following ischemic stroke, the integrity of the blood-brain barrier (BBB), which prevents harmful substances such as inflammatory molecules from entering the brain, can be impaired in cerebral areas distant from initial ischemic insult. This disruptive condition, known as diaschisis, can lead to chronic post-stroke deficits, University of South Florida researchers report.

In experiments using laboratory rats modeling ischemic stroke, USF investigators studied the consequences of the compromised BBB at the chronic post-stroke stage. Their findings appear in a recent issue of the Journal of Comparative Neurology.

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Svitlana Garbuzova-Davis, PhD

“Following ischemic stroke, the pathological changes in remote areas of the brain likely contribute to chronic deficits,” said neuroscientist and study lead author Svitlana Garbuzova-Davis, PhD, associate professor in the USF Health Department of Neurosurgery and Brain Repair. “These changes are often related to the loss of integrity of the BBB, a condition that should be considered in the development of strategies for treating stroke and its long-term effects.”

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