New theory gives hope for treating ischemic stroke

Cai Wenjun
Local doctors have found an explanation for ischemic stroke, a main cause of death and disability.
Cai Wenjun

Local medical specialists have come up with a unique explanation for the mechanism of ischemic stroke, a leading cause of death and disability.

They also screened a small molecular compound in accordance with the theory and found positive results in ischemic stroke treatment, providing hope for new drug development.

Acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) in brain neurons play an important role in people's learning, memory, and chronic pain. Experts from Shanghai's 6th People's Hospital believe that glutamate overactivation of ASICS can alter ASICs and exacerbate ischemic stroke damage. This is supported by animal experiments.

There is currently no drug that specifically targets ASICs. Experts then proposed using small molecular medicines to block glutamate and ASIC functions.

Scientists used computer stimulation, high-throughput virtual screening, genetic mutation technologies, and cell electrophysical techniques to develop LK-2, a tiny molecular molecule that can inhibit glutamate-ASIC connections.

"Based on cell death experiments and ischemic stroke models, we discovered that LK-2 can perform an optimal nerve protection function and reduce the volume of ischemic stroke by 53.6 percent. Animal investigations have also demonstrated that the chemical can improve the mobility and treatment outcomes of stroke rats," said Dr Yin Shankai, one of the researchers.

"It means LK-2 has a strong potential and meaning for new drug development in stroke treatment."

The study garnered widespread notice and was published in the world's premier publication, Nature.

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