As it turned out, this mechanism has always existed in the human body but, until now, it was not known. Scientists and doctors know a lot about a stroke. It is caused by a thrombus (blood clot) that occludes one of the brain vessels. Circulation of blood stops and the necrosis (death) of tissue nourished by the damaged vessel starts.
The consequences of the disease directly depend on the damaged part of the brain. Some have problems with memory, others – with speech or motor activity. Unlike a heart attack, a stroke can not be cured completely, the patient can not recover hundred per cent.
A lot of nerve cells, neurons, which can not be renewed, are killed during a stroke. However, it turned out it is not true. The Swedish scientists were able to discover new (supporting) cells, the astrocytes. After the experimental mice had provoked stroke, the astrocytes immediately began to form new nerve cells in the damaged area of the brain. Afterwards, they became mature, full-fledged neurons.
But it"s not the only discovery of the scientists. It turns out that there is a special signaling mechanism that controls the astrocytes. When the brain is healthy, this mechanism blocks the conversion of supporting cells into neurons. After a stroke, the lock is released, and the body begins to help itself, turning astrocytes into neural cells.
But the scientists took it a step further. They tried to remove the lock in a healthy mouse's brain. And what do you think? The astrocytes also began to turn into neurons. This discovery could be used in the future for the formation of new nerve cells in the patients with diseases and brain injuries.