manchesterAccording to research conducted by the University of Manchester suggest that a silent stroke may play a key role in facilitating Parkinson’s disease. Emmanuel Pinteaux, MSc, PhD, explains that what researchers sought to do in the study, “was to look at what happens in the brain away from the immediate area where a silent stroke has occurred and whether that could lead to damage that might result in Parkinson’s disease,” Pinteaux says.

Using a mouse model, researchers report that they induced a mild stroke similar to a silent stroke in the striatum area of the brain. The results exhibited inflammation and brain damage in the striatum following stroke. The results also indicated an impact on the substantia nigra, which exhibited a rapid loss of Substance P and inflammation.

Researchers note that 6 days following the mild stroke, upon analysis of brain changes, they found neurodegeneration in the substantia nigra. Dopaminergic neurons had also been killed, researchers say. While it is widely known that inflammation following stroke can damage the brain, Pinteaux says, “what we didn’t fully appreciate was the impact on areas of the brain away from the location of the stroke. Our work identifying that a silent stroke can lead to Parkinson’s disease shows it is more important than ever to ensure stroke patients have swift access to anti-inflammatory medication.”

Pinteaux adds that the results emphasize the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, noting that guidelines about exercise and health eating to help reduce stroke risk may also be applied to the on-set of Parkinson’s disease.

The study appears in the journal Brain Behaviour and Immunity

Source: University of Manchester