Spider Venom Therapy after Stoke

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A new study has revealed that a spider venom could be used to reduce neuronal injuries after a stroke and thereby fight against the resulting cognitive decline.

The study, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, states that the “double-knot” spider venom could potentially reduce brain damage after a stroke even if the peptide is given to the patient up to eight hours after the cerebrovascular accident.Researchers have found that the acid-sensing ion channel 1a (ASIC1a) becomes active after a stroke and plays a key role in brain damage. The peptide spider venom was found to have the ability to inhibit ASIC1a in rodents, thereby cutting down the neuronal effects of an ischemic stroke in rodents. If human trials prove to be successful, this discovery could help millions of people who suffer from stroke every year.

This study was led by Irene R. Chassangnon from the Institute for Molecular Bioscience, The University of Queensland, Australia.