A Small (Micro) Advance to Combat Stroke
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It’s possible that the bacteria in our gut has a say in how well we survive and recover from stroke which is just remarkable. I agree. It just keeps amazing me how integral our microbiome is to our health. These are the bacteria, viruses and fungi in and on us.

What this study tells us is that as we age, one of two major groups of bacteria in our gut increases, the Firmicutes. This increase has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, and dementia. So, here’s a case where our small friends can hurt us.

After a stroke, inflammation occurs because immune cells from across the body, including the gut, migrate to the damaged brain tissues. The gut is actually the second largest source of immune cells in the body. Here’s something you may not know. These immune cells release chemicals that enhance the inflammation and that contributes to the brain damage after stroke.

What researchers discovered is when they transferred gut microbiome from young mice to aged mice and induced stroke in the aged mice, fewer died and others healed more quickly. That’s because there were fewer of the immune cells that cause inflammation present.

Next, the study will focus on learning whether the aged microbiome produces harmful chemicals that damages brain tissue or whether the young microbiome produces a protective chemical. Learning how this works could mean harnessing our microbe friends to help us manage stroke so that it will no longer be the fifth leading cause of death in the US.

For more information…

CD200-CD200R1 Inhibitory Signaling Prevents Spontaneous Bacterial Infection and Promotes Resolution of Neuroinflammation and Recovery After Stroke
This study defines an essential role of CD200-CD200R1 signaling in stroke. Loss of CD200R1 led to high mortality, increased rates of post-stroke infection, and enhanced entry of peripheral leukocytes into the brain after ischemia, with no increase in infarct size. This suggests that the loss of CD200 receptor leads to enhanced peripheral inflammation that is triggered by brain injury...

Age-related Changes in the Gut Microbiota Influence Systemic Inflammation and Stroke Outcome
TAged biome increased the levels of systemic proinflammatory cytokines. We conclude that the gut microbiota can be modified to positively impact outcomes from age-related diseases...

CDC: Stroke Facts
Find facts and statistics about stroke in the United States...