Scientists have made an important new discovery about the brain’s immune system that could lead to potential new treatments for stroke and other related conditions. Inflammation is activated in the brain after a stroke, but rather than aiding recovery it actually causes and worsens damage. That damage can be devastating. In fact, stroke is responsible for 10% of deaths worldwide and is the leading cause of disability. Therefore, understanding how inflammation is regulated in the brain is vital for the development of drugs to limit the damage triggered by a stroke.
Dr. David Brough from the Faculty of Life Sciences, The University of Manchester, says, “We know very little about how the immune system is regulated in the brain. However, its important we understand this since it contributes to disease and injury. For example, in addition to stroke, Alzheimer’s disease has an inflammatory aspect and even depression may be driven by inflammation.”