WEDNESDAY, Oct. 18, 2006 (HealthDay News) -- An injection of a brain protein called granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) improved recovery from stroke in rats, even when they received the injections three days after the stroke, German researchers report.
In the brain, naturally-produced G-CSF controls the formation of neurons and counteracts neuron death.
As reported in the journal BMC Biology, researchers at Sygnis Bioscience AG and elsewhere in Germany found that, when injected into rats four hours after the onset of stroke, G-CSF reduced by 34.5 percent the size of the area affected by stroke.
They also found that 10 days of injections of G-CSF beginning one or three days after a stroke still helped to restore motor function in rats. The rats who received the 10 days of G-CSF treatment did better on exercise and coordination tests than stroke-injured rats treated with a placebo.
This is the first study to demonstrate that G-CSF can be effective when injected this long after a stroke. The findings may help guide the design of future studies of G-CSF in humans.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has more about stroke prevention and treatment.