You have to love spiders

According to a new study, protein found in a usually deadly spider’s  venom can be used to protect the brain following stroke.

The funnel web spiders usually kills within 15 minutes but Australian scientists say they found the Hi’la protein after milking the poisonous venue of these spiders. After injecting a version of the protein into lab rats, researchers discovered that it blocked acid sensing ion channels which are said to be the key drivers of brain damage following stroke. The study found that a dose of this compound two hours following stroke reduced brain damage in rats up to 80% which to me personally is hugely exciting. Even a dose administered after eight hours reduced symptoms, disability by 65%. Professor Glenn King, who led this research, said “It showed great promise as a future treatment”. I am hugely excited by such a possible breakthrough. If it had been available at the time of my stroke I would have accepted it given the choice.

He added that during pre-clinical trials, they found that a single dose of Hi1a administered up to 8 hours after stroke protected brain tissue and drastically improved neurological performance. “This world-first discovery will help us provide better outcomes for stroke survivors by limiting the brain damage and disability caused by this devastating injury.”

Hi1a came to the attention of scientists in the first place because it looked similar to two copies of another chemical, which has the ability to protect brain cells.

I also have to add that I adore the fact Professor King uses the correct language, ‘Survivor’ not ‘victim’ and appears to illustrate empathy throughout his language and his work, thank you Professor.

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