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In the future, people who have a stroke may be able to benefit from an innovative new treatment, paid for through expatriate health insurance policies.
Scientists at the University of Copenhagen have designed, created and patented a product that could help to minimise the brain damage caused by this condition.
Their new compound is 1,000 times more effective at binding to the target proteins than other drugs that are being tested on people who have had a stroke, the investigators claimed.
The research was published in journal the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.
When people suffer from a stroke, they release large amounts of glutamate, which over-activates receptors in nearby cells and causes a spike in calcium levels.
A resulting chain reaction occurs, which causes cell death and can result in significant brain damage.
In the US alone, over 140,000 people die every year as a result of this condition. Symptoms include dizziness, loss of vision, weakness, numbness or paralysis along one side of the body, difficulty swallowing and communication problems.
However, Anders Bach, postdoctoral researcher and medicinal chemist at the Faculty of Health and Medical Science, claimed the new compound "reduces the dead area in the brain after a stroke by 40 per cent".
It is significantly more effective than current drugs being examined in clinical trials and can also improve motor function in the victims of stroke, he argued, citing experiments that showed mice having greater grip strength after being exposed to the substance.
Furthermore, it can "pass through the blood-brain barrier", which is a significant challenge in the development of clinical drugs, the researcher added.
"Even though the compound binds effectively in laboratory studies and shows promising biological activity in animal models, we will still have many challenges to overcome," Mr Bach concluded.
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