This could lead to the development of new therapies for traumatic brain injury and is a method for applying drugs in right points of damaged brain.
US – Erkki Ruoslahti and Aman Mann (Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute) have found a peptide sequence of four amino acids (cysteine, alanine, glutamine and lysine) recognizing injured brain tissue. This peptide could be used as a vehicle for treatments able to mitigate the extent of damage.
Each year, many people in the world, about 2.5 million people in the US alone, suffer head injuries, usually as a result of traffic accidents, falls and assaults. While the initial injury can’t be repaired, it is possible to minimize various side damage blood vessels and brain cells, triggered as a result of this initial injury during the hours and days following the damage.
Current interventions for acute brain injuries are aimed at stabilizing the patient, reducing intracranial pressure and maintaining blood flow, but no effective drugs approved to stop the cascade of harmful events tends to cause secondary lesions.
More than a hundred compounds are presently undergoing preclinical trials, hoping that some serve to reduce brain damage after injury. These drug candidates block the events that cause secondary damage, including inflammation, high levels of free radicals, over-excitation of neurons, and signals that lead to cell death.
Ruoslahti and Mann set out to find an alternative to the strategy of therapeutic drugs injected directly into the brain, which is invasive and can add complications. Using this peptide to provide means that these could be supplied intravenously drugs, but even so reach the site of injury in sufficient quantities to be effective.