A protein in nerve cells—the neurite outgrowth inhibitor, or Nogo—inhibits the formation of new synapses. A newly discovered molecule that blocks the receptor and helps synapses to form may help stroke patients recover. This “Nogo receptor decoy” is in early-stage drug development.
EVERY MINUTE a typical stroke goes untreated, a person loses …
1.9 million neurons
7.5 miles of myelinated fibers
14 billion synapses
90 percent of strokes are ischemic, caused by a narrowing or blockage of the blood vessels in the brain
10 percent of strokes are hemorrhagic, caused by bleeding in the brain
The average stroke lasts 10 hours
Every hour without treatment, the brain ages effectively by 3.6 YEARS
Stroke patients can’t compensate for the loss of brain cells by making new neurons, but they often recover some function by making new neural connections, or synapses.
Sources: Stroke 2006; 37: 263-266 and Nature 2001 Jan 18; 409(6818): 341-346