Experimental stroke research
Despite the fact that 750,000 people suffer strokes in the United States every year, scientists still do not fully understand what are the underlying causes of stroke, how brain cells are injured during a stroke and what leads to hemorrhage, or bleeding, in the brain.
UC Davis Department of Neurology faculty members are conducting research using both human patients and animal models of stroke to understand the subtleties of these deadly incidents. They are looking at improving surgical techniques to repair brain damage following stroke, the ability of heat shock proteins (produced by cells under stress) to protect brain tissue from injury due to stroke and new drug therapies for stroke.
In addition to trying to understand the basics of strokes, they are also testing ways to decrease the severity of strokes, or prevent strokes, using drug therapies. For example, heart surgery can lead to stroke. Researchers are looking at drugs that may prevent stroke in these cases.
Department researchers are also looking at strokes in diabetics and why these patients suffer cognitive decline more rapidly than other stroke patients. They are also trying to understand why survivors of subarachnoid aneurysm (a bulging artery in the space surrounding the brain) often develop deadly stroke within weeks.
Department of Neurology faculty members are also working on ways to find clues from a simple blood sample that a stroke has occurred and predict future stroke by taking samples of blood.
See also: Gene Expression Profiling