Identifying how inflammation affects stroke recovery

A new research grant will enable University of Cincinnati researchers to learn more about how inflammation affects patient recovery after certain kinds of strokes.

Kyle Walsh, MD, is the principal investigator of the CAPSTONE study, and his team received a five-year, $2.5 million grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).

The name of the study, CAPSTONE, is an acronym for Central And Peripheral STrOke inflammatioN with Exosomes. The research focuses on patient recovery after intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), a particular type of stroke caused by a blood vessel in the brain rupturing.

ICH strokes account for about 20% of all strokes, but are often deadly and cause high disability. They also occur in Black and Hispanic populations twice as often and an average of 10 years earlier in life compared to their white counterparts.

Walsh explained that the brain suffers injury from the bleeding itself during an ICH stroke, called the “primary injury,” but following this a number of inflammatory processes occur both inside the brain and in the circulating blood. Previous research has suggested that while some of these inflammatory processes help repair the damage, others are harmful and contribute to a “secondary injury.”

Daniel Woo, MD, co-investigator of the study, said sometimes inflammation can persist and become chronic in the brain long after it has done its job, which is believed to lead to neurodegeneration. Nearly 40% of patients who survive an ICH stroke develop progressive cognitive decline, comparable to dementia, within a few years after the stroke occurred, he said.

From University of Cincinnati News

By Tim Tedeschi

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