Biomarkers could predict stroke, TBI risk

With the help of a $1.47 million NIH grant, Emory University researchers are studying whether they can detect biomarkers in the bloodstream after a person has suffered a stroke. They want to determine whether stenting intracranial arteries can prevent additional strokes. Lead investigator Professor Michael Frankel and his team analyzed blood samples from the 451 patients to learn more about the molecular biology of stroke. His mission was to find markers that predict whether stroke will occur again.

"Our goal is to learn more about stroke by studying proteins and cells in the blood that reflect the severity of disease in arteries that leads to stroke," explained Frankel in the Emory Health Now Blog. "If we can test blood samples for proteins and cells that put patients at high risk for stroke, we can better tailor treatment for those patients."

Frankel and his team are studying blood samples from patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI) in a second NIH-funded study. TBI can trigger a chain of events that release proteins into the bloodstream. If detected, those markers could give healthcare professionals clues about the seriousness of the injury and potentially influence treatment decisions. "If we can better determine the amount of brain injury with blood samples, we can use blood to help doctors better assess prognosis for recovery, and, hopefully whether a patient will respond to treatment with progesterone," added Frankel.

- read more from the Emory Health Now Blog