Lack of communication never sounded so good.
Research from UT Southwestern suggests that blocking the enzyme Cdk5 could reduce brain damage after a stroke.
Dr. James Bibb, an Associate Professor of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics at UT Southwestern and senior author of the study, led the research concerning the effects of Cdk5 with strokes. According to a statement, the study concluded “aberrant Cdk5 activity causes nerve cell death during stroke.”
“If we could block Cdk5 in patients who have just suffered a stroke, we may be able to reduce the number of patients in our hospitals who become disabled or die from stroke,” Dr. Bibb said in a statement. “Doing so would have a major impact on health care.”
Researchers put Cdk5 inhibitors into dissected rodents’ brains and measured its effects after mice had suffered a stroke.
Cdk5 inhibitors were devised years ago because scientists thought the Cdk5 would influence Alzheimer’s and inhibiting it could become a form of treatment. The drugs were stopped due to their potential long-term effects.
“Cdk5 regulates communication between nerve cells and is essential for proper brain function,” Dr. Bibb said in a statement. “Therefore, blocking Cdk5 long-term may not be beneficial. Until now, the connection between Cdk5 and stroke injury was unknown, as was the potential benefit of acute Cdk5 inhibition as a therapy.”
This new development has not formulated a new treatment for stroke but has shown what types of drugs could be used. Before a clinical trial can be conducted, a systemic drug must be created to conclude Dr. Bibb’s research findings. The only FDA approved drug for a stroke at this time is tPA, a clot-busting drug, and other treatments including neurosurgical procedures.
Other scientists involved in the study were: Dr. Douglas Meyer, lead author and former postdoctoral researcher; Dr. Melissa Torres-Altoro, postdoctoral researcher; Dr. Florian Plattner, instructor; and Dr. Janice Kansy, former postdoctoral researcher. The research was assisted by grants from the National Institute of Health and the Cdk5-inhibitor compound indolinone was supplied through Boehringer Ingelheim pharmaceutical company.