The study published in the journal Cell Reports described a key gene, TRIM9, involved with compressing inflammation in the brain, as well as what happens when the injured brain gets an added boost of that gene.
When a person has a stroke, the brain responds with inflammation, which expands the area of injury and leads to more disability.
The gene, TRIM9, is abundant in the youthful brain but grows scarce with age, just when people become more at risk from stroke.
But when the scientists used a harmless virus to carry a dose of the gene directly into TRIM9-deficient brains, the swelling decreased dramatically and recovery improved.
Jae Jung, lead author of the study said, "It's unlikely that gene therapy delivered by viruses will become the go-to treatment for strokes, head injuries or encephalitis. It's too slow and the best shot at treating stroke is within the first 30 minutes to one hour."
Jung informed that the next step will be identifying what, exactly, flips on the switch for TRIM9 gene expression.
"Maybe there will be a way to chemically activate TRIM9 right after a stroke. Or maybe a football player can take a medication that turns on TRIM9 gene expression right after they get a blow to the head," Jung added.
But when it goes on too long, neurons die; inflammation causes the brain's blood vessels to become permeable, allowing white blood cells to enter tissue where they don't belong.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)