London: Scientists have for the first time explained mechanisms behind the brain`s ability to protect itself from damage due to stroke.The Oxford University researchers hope that harnessing this inbuilt biological mechanism, identified in rats, could help in treating stroke and preventing other neurodegenerative diseases in the future."We have shown for the first time that the brain has mechanisms that it can use to protect itself and keep brain cells alive," said lead researcher Professor Alastair Buchan in a statement.Stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off. When this happens, brain cells are deprived of the oxygen and nutrients they need to function properly, and they begin to die.This explains why treatment for stroke is so dependent on speed. The faster someone can reach hospital, be scanned and have drugs administered to dissolve any blood clot and get the blood flow re-started, the less damage to brain cells there will be.
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