Brain Canada Brain Canada
FR Donate

Mechanisms of delayed death in stroke

Principal Investigator:
  • David Park, University of Ottawa
  • Heart and Stroke Foundation

Project Overview

Stroke is a major cause of death and disability. At present, there are no clear and effective therapies to aid the majority of patients who suffer stroke. The goals of the present research are to understand the stroke process and identify targets, which block brain cell death following an ischemic insult. The major objective of the project is to understand how select proteins, the cell cycle related Cdks, are involved in brain cell damage. The objectives are to understand how these proteins act together to cause brain cell death and then to determine how inhibition of these signals might prevent brain damage following stroke. Dr. Park and his team have previously generated new and novel data on how these proteins cause brain cells to signal death following stroke. They believe that by understanding how this occurs, they can develop therapeutic strategies to limit stroke-induced damage. For this project, Dr. Park and his team will explore the role of these proteins by first studying how they function in brain cells grown in a dish. They will then test whether inhibition of these proteins in animals (rodents), which have had a stroke, minimizes brain cell death and improves behaviour. Importantly, by defining a molecular pathway by which this death occurs, they can identify several key potential therapeutic targets from stroke-induced brain damage.