Post Stroke Infection

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Vascular diseases are debilitating disorders which can cut blood supply to an organ of the body and cause sudden shot down of its functions. It already affects millions of individuals nowadays. Those individuals who are of high risk includes: those who are obese, with sedentary lifestyle, and with stressful work conditions. One of vascular diseases that can cause the malfunctioning of the brain is stroke. And those individuals, who suffered from stroke, are at risk for having infection as post-complication, according to a new study.

Stroke or medically known as Cerebrovascular Accident (CVA) is a disorder in which there is either a sudden or gradual deterioration of brain functions due to a cut in blood supply to the brain. This is usually caused by either a blockage of the vessels in the form of embolus or thrombus, or through a hemorrhage. Although this is a medical emergency, many people can survive and go back to their usual routine if proper intervention was given early.

According to the new study from the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Medicine which was published in the journal Science, individuals who suffered from stroke, makes them susceptible to infection which can even lead to death if severe. The researchers have found out the mechanism of the brain after an episode of stroke which predisposes a person to infection. They have also tried to make ways in order to possibly treat this health dilemma.

The research involves observation and examination of mouse as the model of the study. The researchers were able to analyze the biological sequence of the events happening after a stroke. According to them, after a stroke, the brain is trying to establish its mechanism on how to decrease inflammation. This mechanism is through the Natural Killer T-cells (NKT) which are activated after a stroke to suppress the immune system of the body in an attempt to keep the brain from inflammation.

The senior author Kubes, PhD, director of the Snyder Institute at the University of Calgary said: “When we discovered that these novel NKT cells are important in fighting infection in stroke, we were able to specifically target them. This means that infections can be controlled without having to administer high levels of antibiotics.” This strategy is specifically significant in order to prevent the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria

The researchers also found a specific drug which can alter the NKT cells from making the immune system suppressed, which could lead to prevention of infection.

Moreover, the new study was not to have a cure over stroke, but through the research, possible decreasing of deaths related to post-stroke infections can be achieved.

According to the Internet Stroke Center, stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States.

-       More than 140,000 people die each year from stroke in the United States.

-       Stroke is the leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States.

-       On average, someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds.

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