Blood protein may improve stroke treatments


A biomarker in the blood can accurately determine damage caused by stroke, according to an analysis by researchers at the Mayo Clinic, a nonprofit organization in Florida. Although tests already exist to show the extent of the stroke, its level of accuracy is still not very high.

The finding was published on Wednesday (11) in the journal Science Translational Medicine and should help doctors predict the prognosis of the disease. It is worth mentioning that this study can be a great advance for science, since stroke is today the second largest cause of deaths in the world.

How does the biomarker work?

Before approaching the study itself, it is important to explain the mechanism of the different types of stroke. The first is hemorrhagic stroke, caused by bleeding from a vein, artery or vessel inside the brain. In this case, the blood leaks and spreads, increasing the pressure at that point.

There is also ischemic stroke, which is the most common. This occurs when an artery is blocked, which prevents blood from reaching the brain. In both cases, the neurons suffer some kind of injury.

In them there is a protein known as neurofilament light (NFL). During a stroke, this protein is released into the cerebrospinal fluid (which bathes the brain) and then into the blood. This is a biomarker that the researchers found. According to the researchers, the amount of NFL released during a stroke indicates the severity of the brain injury.


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