Stroke Recovery Drug Found Effective In Rewiring Brains Of Mice And Monkeys

Norman Byrd

Researchers in Japan have discovered that a drug called edonerpic maleate has proven effective in aiding laboratory mice and monkeys recover from strokes. The drug helps rewire the damaged brain of stroke victims and aids in improving their recovery.

As reported by MedicalXpress this week, several institutions in Japan conducted experiments to ascertain the possibility of introducing a drug into the brain that would ally itself with a protein called CRMP2-binding compound, which has been shown as involved in the work of rewiring a damaged brain. Edonerpic maleate was a drug that had shown just such promise in prior research. Researchers found that the use of the drug in laboratory mice just a day after suffering strokes helped improve the rewiring of the damaged brains.

The rewiring is important in that brain damage occurs in stroke victims through a lack of oxygen (because of blood vessels being blocked or bursting). The brain is then unable to repair the dead nerve cells. Still, the brain is able to rewire itself somewhat — doing so in unharmed parts of the brain — through physical therapy.

However, it was also found that only providing the mice with the drug was not enough to improve the victims' motor skills. That required physical therapy in addition to the drug.

Follow-up tests were then conducted involving monkeys with strokes. The results were similar.

Edonerpic maleate has already passed tests showing it safe for humans. Researchers are now looking to conduct a clinical trial for the drug.

The research describing the study and its results has been published in the journal Science.

The new research adds to the growing methods by which stroke victims can be treated. Back in 2016, MedicalXpress reported that researchers at the University of Manchester in England discovered that an anti-inflammatory drug called interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra), already being used in treating humans with rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions, reduced damage to brain cells in mice when given early in a stroke's aftermath. The research also found that the number of new neurons increased, suggested new generation, within the following days.

According to statistics compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 795,000 people in the United States suffer a stroke each year. Of those, 140,000 die. Roughly 87 percent of all stroke victims suffer what is known as ischemic stroke, the event that occurs when the blood flow within the brain is blocked.