Preventing the Aftershock of Stroke Injury

Protein cypin may reduce secondary stroke damage

(RxWiki News) After a stroke it's common to suffer secondary damage in the days or weeks following the initial brain attack. A protein may be the key to preventing later damage to the brain.

Increased production of protein cypin can help stop secondary neurological damage by preventing nerve cells from losing the ability to communicate with other cells.

Talk to your neurologist about stroke recovery.

Bonnie Firestein, a professor of cell biology and neuroscience at Rutgers University, said that increased production of protein cypin versus PSD-95 results in very different outcomes.

While cypin helps prevent secondary damage such as lack of blood flow, insufficient oxygen and brain swelling after a stroke, PSD-95 accelerates cell destruction and can inhibit recovery.

Firestein said she isn't sure why cypin acts this way, but it is clear that the protein helps nerves survive. She first isolated and identified the protein more than 10 years ago.

Researchers conducted a laboratory experiment by placing nerve cells in a dish to create an "experimental stroke" that mimicked a massive glutamate release resulting in the destruction of nerve cells. They found that a greater number of neurons not damaged during the initial stroke also survived secondary destruction with increased amounts of cypin. However too much PSD-95 caused nerve cells that were not initially damaged to die.

Firestein is hopeful that the finding will aid in developing an effective therapy to save neurons and reduce the long-term effects of strokes and other traumatic brain injuries.

The study was recently published in the Journal of Neuroscience.

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Review Date: 
November 4, 2011