Laboratory of Cerebrovascular Research

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The aim of the cerebrovascular research group in the Department of Neurosurgery is the development of treatment for intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). Our goal is to design better therapeutic strategies to salvage injured brain tissue after ICH. Over the past few years we have investigated several agents which demonstrate neuroprotective and neurorestorative activities after experimental ICH. We have focused on therapies that induce remodeling from the less damaged brain regions to the more affected areas after ICH, with the goal of promoting recovery of neurological function. We have identified that treatment with statins produces new brain cells (neurogenesis), new vasculature (angiogenesis and arteriogenesis), and new wiring (synaptogenesis and axonal growth), and these events collectively improve neurological function after ICH. We have also identified that cell-based therapy induces the recovery of function post-ICH by stimulating endogenous restorative mechanisms rather than by replacing injured tissue. The mechanisms of action underlying these restorative activities are in part driven by the expression of trophic factors and through responses of the endogenous parenchymal cells that cause remodeling of the brain through vascular and neurite outgrowth, and synaptic alterations.

Our group has also used novel imaging methods with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) that permit non-invasive measurements of the status of brain tissue recovery after experimental ICH (i.e. intactness of the blood brain barrier, and volume of the hematoma). These techniques aid in determining the effect of novel treatments administered after ICH.