A protein found in the spider venom may help in protecting the brain from injury after the stroke, as per the research.
Scientists determined a single dose of the protein Hi1a that worked on rats in the laboratory. Researchers claim that the spider venom had provided an effective solution for future stroke treatment, but it is not yet tested on human beings.
The Stroke Association said the research is at the initial stage but it has the ability to “welcome any treatment that has the potential to minimize the damage caused by stroke”.
The scientists, from the University of Queensland and Monash University, traveled to Fraser Island in Australia to hunt and capture three potentially deadly Australian funnel spiders.
They have taken these spiders to their laboratory “for milking”. This therapy involves coaxing the spider to release its venom, which can then be sucked up using pipettes.
The scientists have recreated a version of this protein in their lab. They then injected this Hi1a into the lab rats.
- A stroke is brain attack that occurs when the blood supply to the brain has stopped or there is bleeding in the brain
- It is estimated that after every two seconds, someone in the world suffers from stroke
- About 17 million people who never had a stroke before had one in 2010
- Stroke is the second most common cause of death, resulting in 6.7 million deaths every year
- The risk of stroke-related ailments, disability and early death is expected to double within the next 15 years
Prof Glenn King, who conducted the research, said the protein has shown “great promise as a future stroke treatment”.
“Hi1a also provides protection to the part of a brain that is affected greatly due to oxygen deprivation, which is unrecoverable due to the rapid cell death caused by stroke.”
The study was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.