The discovery of a gene that plays an important role in reducing brain swelling after stroke


When a person has a stroke, the brain becomes inflamed, which enlarges the injured area and leads to more disability, such as physical movement disorders, cognitive impairment, and speech dysphagia. Stroke sequelae have caused great physical and mental pain to stroke survivors.

Imagine if one day, a specific drug can help the brain heal itself after a stroke, and even prevent further damage after a head injury, which is a piece of good news for those suffering from stroke sequelae!

A recent study published in the journal Cell Reports reported a key gene that involves inhibition of brain inflammation and what happens when an injured brain gains additional enhancements to the gene. This research, led by researchers at Nanzhou University, supports the idea above.

The gene, called TRIM9, is abundant in young brains, but it grows less with age, just as people are at greater risk of developing a stroke.

In a laboratory model of stroke, the researchers found that an engineered brain with a low TRIM9 level in the aged brain or a complete absence of the TRIM9 gene is prone to extensive swelling after a stroke. However, when the researchers carried a dose of the TRIM9 gene directly into the brain lacking TRIM9 through a harmless virus, a dramatic decrease in swelling was observed and recovery was improved.

Despite the gratifying effects seen in the experiment, the treatment of viral-borne genes is too slow, so it is unlikely to be the treatment of choice for stroke, head injury or encephalitis. After all, the best time to treat a stroke is within the first 30 minutes to an hour. And early action often prevents serious consequences.

They suspect that there may be a way to chemically activate TRIM9 immediately after a stroke, or perhaps a football player can take a drug that activates TRIM9 gene expression after the head is hit.

Jae Jung, the lead author of the study, believed that not all brain inflammation is bad. Usually, inflammation is beneficial and is the body's automatic defense response that can help fight infections and clear dead tissue. But when it lasts for too long, the neurons die; inflammation causes the blood vessels of the brain to become permeable, causing the white blood cells to enter the tissues that they do not belong to, and then the white blood cells begin to attack cells, causing damage to tissues and cells.

Although this study does not directly provide treatment for stroke and head injury, it provides some therapeutic strategies for the treatment of these diseases. And experts can start a better treatment plan from the TRIM9 gene.
 
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