Proteins are weakened by protective proteins over nasal spray
According to medical experts, about 270,000 people in Germany suffer from a stroke every year. Timely emergency treatment can save the lives of the victims and reduce damage in the long term. Researchers now report that damage after a stroke can be limited by protective proteins & # 39; delivered to the brain via a nasal spray.
Many deaths can be avoided
Every year more than a quarter of a million Germans suffer from a stroke. This is one of the most common causes of death in Germany, according to experts many deaths could be prevented if symptoms of stroke are quickly recognized and those affected are treated quickly. In the future, a simple nasal spray could help in the treatment of brain cancer patients.
"Protective proteins" are introduced into the brain
Researchers at the University of Heidelberg have shown with mouse models that "protective proteins" can be inserted into the brain through the nose, weakening the destruction of nerve cells after a stroke.
As mentioned in a notice about this, the researchers work on prof. Dr. med. Hilmar Bading at the Interdisciplinary Center for Neuroscience (IZN) on the scientific basis for new forms of therapy with which degenerative processes can be stopped in humans.
The team of scientists concentrates on the body's own neuroprotective mechanisms.
The most recent research results were published in the journal "Molecular Therapy".
Brain activity neutralizes cell death
The researchers at Heidelberg have shown in previous work that brain activity counteracts cell death by neurons.
"We know that activated neurons produce proteins that protect against cell death," said Prof. dr. Bading.
It is reported that the NMDA receptor is important at the molecular level. If these receptors are not in the nodes of nerve cells, the synapses, they can cause enormous cell damage and cell death.
However, the toxic extra synaptic NMDA receptors or the consequences of their activation can be suppressed.
The triggers for this suppression are the proteins Activin A and SerpinB2, whose production in the nervous system is caused by brain activity, as the researchers have discovered.
New perspectives for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases
As stated in the communication, scientists have investigated the question of how these protective proteins can be introduced "from the outside" if their production with the help of activated nerve cells is limited, for example after a stroke.
Prof. dr. Bading was able to work with Dr. to work med. Bettina Buchthal and Ursula Weiß show that nasal administration offers new perspectives for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.
This is proven by the studies on the mouse model. According to Bading, the mice with stroke in certain parts of the brain had less brain damage if treated in this way.
Years to go for clinical use
Prof. dr. Bading emphasized that the researchers thus created the scientific basis for a simple "nasal spray" that could reduce the loss of nerve cells due to disease.
Unfortunately, many years will pass before a clinical application in humans is applied, because a number of test phases must be successfully completed until the approval of a new active substance as a medicine, "said Prof. Bading.
The scientist is of the opinion that this "non-invasive and exceptionally simple therapy principle" is not only effective in cases of acute brain damage such as stroke.
It can also help with chronic neurodegenerative disorders that are associated with increased activation of extra-synaptic NMDA receptors, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Alzheimer's disease and Huntington's disease. (Ad)