Looking at brain tissue from mice, monkeys and humans, scientists have found that a molecule known as growth and differentiation factor 10 (GDF10) is a key player in repair mechanisms following stroke. The findings suggest that GDF10 may be a potential therapy for recovery after stroke. The study, published in Nature Neuroscience, was supported by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part of the National Institutes of Health.
Sprouting connections in the brain: Adding GDF10 to neurons in a dish results in the formation of new connections between brain cells. This process may lead to recovery after stroke. Image courtesy of S. Thomas Carmichael, M.D., Ph.D., David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California Los Angeles.
“These findings help to elucidate the mechanisms of repair following stroke. Identifying this key protein further advances our knowledge of how the brain heals itself from the devastating effects of stroke, and may help to develop new therapeutic strategies to promote recovery,” said Francesca Bosetti, Ph.D., stroke program director at NINDS.