A widely criticized experiment last year found that a researcher in China removes the gene from twin girls at the embryo stage in an attempt to protect them from HIV. A new study suggests that using a drug to remove one and the same gene in people with stroke or traumatic brain trauma can help improve their recovery.
A new work shows the benefits of disconnecting the gene in stroke induced mice with a drug already approved as an HIV treatment. She also focuses on the sample of people who were naturally born without a gene. People without a gene recover faster and completely from a stroke than the general population, researchers found
. Improves recovery in people after stroke or traumatic brain injury, says S. Thomas Carmichael, Senior Research Fellow and Neurologist at the University of California Los Angeles, School of Medicine David Guffen. His team began further research in humans to check the effectiveness of the drug.
A combination of mouse research and the use of human genetic data to confirm drug targets makes a new study "sign paper," says Jin-Moo Lee, co-director of the Barnes-Jewish Hospital and the University of Washington University in St. Louis who was not involved in the work. .
At the end of 201
Carmichael and others spent years looking for genes and other biological ways that could lead to medicines that will help repair the brain itself after a stroke or brain injury. CCR5 – the first such candidate, who will show a true promise, say some experts. For patients with stroke and traumatic brain injury, "I believe this is the beginning of hope," says Alino Silva, a neurophysiologist from U.C.L.A. who worked with Carmichael on a new study. The results were published this week in Cell .
A drug used to block activity CCR5 has been on the market since 2007 and has been approved as a treatment to slow down the progression of HIV / AIDS. Carmichael gave a drug called maravirok, a stroke-induced mice. Reducing the activity of the gene in the motor neurons of the brain "had a tremendous effect on the recovery," he says. The drug does not easily cross the blood-brain barrier, but it went well enough to preserve the brain's involvement in the chemical signaling, and to increase connectivity between brain regions, the study showed
. persons without genes CCR5 along with 446 controls. Those who suffered from stroke, as well as had a natural gene removal, were more likely to have resumed mobility and had fewer cognitive deficits months after stroke than patients with intact CCR5 . The exact mechanism behind the result is unknown. In healthy people, the CCR5 gene is believed to contribute to learning and memory, acting as a "stop" signal, informing neurons that only one memory is retained and retained, rather than continuing to receive and store each signal in , Carmichael says. Immediately after a stroke or brain damage, the gene helps reduce the excitability of the neurons, helping to limit the damage, he says. But if the gene continues to pump "stop signals", it also interferes with the ability of the brain to build new contacts and repair the damage, he adds.
Carmichael's approach is to turn off these signals by running people on the drug about seven days after the stroke and lasting about three months, allowing the brain to recover better. In the current clinical study, participants also undergo intensive physical therapy to restore movement. This two-way approach to treatment is important, says Stephen Kramer, a stroke rescue expert at the University of California Irvine who did not take part in the study. Medicinal therapy can open the door to transform the contours of the brain, but recovery also requires individual efforts – just like studying the problem in the first place, – he notes. "Just because you spill magic pixies on the brain does not mean that you will solve this problem," he says.
Cramer says that he believes that the treatment of anti- drugs can become "one of the main pillars" of the therapeutic achievements of stroke recovery