Modified stroke drug boosts injury repair in rats with spinal cord damage
Researchers added short chain fatty acids to the drinking water of mice, and those that drank the fatty acid water experienced a better stroke recovery. The fatty acid-supplemented mice had reduced motor impairment as well as increased spine growth on the dendrites of nerve cells, which are crucial for memory structure. They also expressed more genes related to microglia, the brain's immune cells. This relationship indicates short chain fatty acids may serve as messengers in the gut-brain connection by influencing how the brain responds to injury.
The results could be promising news for stroke patients. Currently, there are only two FDA-approved treatments for acute stroke and no effective therapeutics to promote long-term repair in the brain after stroke damage.
A short chain fatty acid dietary supplement may be a safe and practical additional therapy for stroke rehabilitation, Stowe says.
"If we can confirm that a dietary supplement could be beneficial to inflammation and recovery after stroke, it could positively impact so many lives. We have nearly 800,000 people a year in the U.S. who are affected by stroke," said Stowe.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that stroke is also the number one cause of adult disability and the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S.
Stowe says the research collaboration with Dr. Arthur Liesz' group in Munich is ongoing and next steps are to focus on additional behavioral tests as well as examining some of the specific immune cell populations that are affected by short chain fatty acids. Source:
University of Kentucky Journal reference:
Sadler, R., et al. (2019) Short-chain fatty acids improve post-stroke recovery via immunological mechanisms. Journal of Neuroscience . doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1359-19.2019 .
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