Researchers from the CNRS, the University of Caen in Normandy, the Paris-Est Créteil University and OTR3 are working on a new approach to help victims of stroke, a procedure that would regain the functions of the senses and the motor lost as a result of a stroke.
In France, about 150,000 people suffer from stroke each year. Stroke is the leading cause of acquired disability in adults and the second leading cause of death in France.
Most of these strokes result from obstruction of the cerebral artery caused by a blood clot. The only way to prevent the death of neurons, because they are oxygen-free, is to eliminate this clot. This operation is possible only in the first hours after stroke, which can treat only a small number of patients.
Therefore, the team headed by the CNRS researcher, Myriam Bernaudin, decided to explore the new path and was interested in the cellular environment, also called the extracellular matrix. The matrix serves as a support for cells. When a stroke occurs, it disturbs the matrix that enhances the death of neurons.
A team of researchers injected a rat-like remedy that structures the cell matrix. This measure injected after stroke was effective because it allowed to protect and reproduce the matrix that has been affected. This measure has also helped in the development of new neurons and in promoting the recovery of sensory and motor functions.
For a while tested only on rats, this promising path should be the subject of a pilot clinical trial by the end of 2019.