Drug found to induce cooling decreases brain damage from stroke

decrease brain damage from stroke

Emory scientists are testing a drug that mimics the effects of the hormone neurotensin to lower body temperature and decrease damage to the brain from stroke in mice.

The drug, ABS-201, reduced a mouse's body temperature by several degrees within 15 minutes. (In contrast, cooling a stroke patient’s body temperature by conventional methods of vests and leg wraps or a cooling catheter takes several hours.) The area of damaged brain tissue in the mice was reduced by 30%.

"Well-controlled hypothermia is a key factor for successful stroke therapy," says Shan Ping Yu, the O. Wayne Rollins chair in anesthesiology and pain medicine. "The way drug-induced hypothermia works is to lower the 'set point' of the temperature-regulating center in the brain. We think this is the first example of applying drug-induced hypothermia to treat ischemic stroke."

Yu and his team are currently testing ABS-201 in animal models of hemorrhagic stroke and traumatic brain injury. Drug-induced hypothermia could be applied to both ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke, he says.

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