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Peptides Found in Spider Venom Could Prevent Brain Damage Due to Stroke [VIDEO]

Update Date: Mar 22, 2017 08:31 AM EDT

A new study reveals that brain damage due to a stroke can be prevented through a peptide found in the venom of the funnel web spider. Peptide Hi1a present in the Australian endemic spider species blocks ion channels in the brain, thus preventing brain injuries induced by a stroke. The study is a pioneer in the field and can open new opportunities for preventing and dealing with brain injuries.

The study conducted at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience at the University of Queensland in Australia was performed by administering a small dose to rats. Two nanograms per kilogram of the peptide Hi1a was injected into the laboratory rats eight hours after an induced stroke.

It was found the Hi1a provides some protection to the core brain region of the rat. This is the area in the brain most affected by oxygen deprivation, thus causing brain damage. The spider venom peptide protected the brain tissues of the rats as well as their neurological and motor functions, the Medical News Today elaborates.

The Hi1a peptide functions in a way that it blocks the activity of the acid-sensing ion channel1a, also known as the ASIC1a found in the brain. This ion channel provides a significant role in brain damage following a stroke, the ischemic stroke which is the most common stroke experienced medically around the globe. This occurs when blood flow to the brain is blocked.

Stroke is the most common cause of disability in the U.S. Most stroke survivors aged 65 and older experience reduced mobility after. At present, there is not medication available to prevent brain injuries due to a stroke.

The latest study using the spider venom peptide is currently the first feasible candidate that could provide a solution to this incurable medical condition, the BBC News reported. The research team is now currently seeking for financial support to be able to proceed with clinical trials.

Doing so will help them test the safety and effectiveness of the Hi1a peptide to prevent stroke-induced brain injury in human test subjects. Although the experiment is still in its early stage, any treatment that has the potential to reduce or prevent brain injuries due to stroke is something the medical industry is looking forward too.


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