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New Neurons Near Brain's Stroke-Damaged Areas

Post-ischemic neurogenesis could be potential target for stroke recovery

THURSDAY, Aug. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have found that newborn-like neurons are present in regions surrounding stroke-damaged areas in human brain biopsies, according to a report in the Aug. 21 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition. Harnessing the process which causes new neuron growth may provide a potential therapeutic strategy for post-ischemic recovery.

David Greenberg, M.D., Ph.D., from the Buck Institute for Age Research in Novato, Calif., and colleagues stained biopsies of human brain affected by ischemic stroke with proliferation-specific markers including Ki-67, proliferating cell nuclear antigen and MCM-2 proteins.

Compared with biopsies taken from individuals who died from other causes, stroke patients had a higher number of marker positive cells per area in the cortical region adjacent to the stroke. In addition, the cells were in close proximity to blood vessels which are thought to provide a "vascular niche" to support proliferation.

"These findings suggest that stroke-induced compensatory neurogenesis may occur in human brain, where it could contribute to post-ischemic recovery and represent a target for stroke therapy," the authors wrote.

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