Stroke is the leading cause of adult disability, due to the brain’s limited capacity for recovery. Physical rehabilitation is the only current treatment following a stroke, and there are no medications available to help promote neurological recovery.
Now, a new UCLA study published Nov. 3 in the journal Nature offers insights into a major limitation in the brain’s ability to recover function after a stroke and identifies a promising medical therapy to help overcome this limitation.
Researchers interested in how the brain repairs itself already know that when the brain suffers a stroke, it becomes excitable, firing off an excessive amount of brain cells, which die off. The UCLA researchers found that a rise in a chemical system known as “tonic inhibition” immediately after a stroke causes a reduction in this level of excitability. (more…)