Stroke is the third leading cause of death and leading cause of adult disability worldwide. While a degree of spontaneous recovery occurs after stroke, over 80% of stroke patients still suffer from long-lasting impairments that affect their ability to perform daily activities.

Brain injuries such as stroke strongly activate inflammatory pathways. While inflammation can help resolve injury, prolonged inflammation hinders tissue repair and ultimately prognosis. Our laboratory has investigated whether pharmacological agents can reduce brain inflammation, promote repair and improve recovery after experimental stroke.              

We have shown that delayed administration of the SSRI, citalopram and the nicotinic agonist varenicline produce long lasting improvements in functional performance in our stroke model. These functional improvement are accompanied by reduced brain inflammation.      

The next step in developing our stroke work is to align our experimental studies with clinical reality and establish parallel endpoints. The development of non-invasive imaging modalities to detect and characterise neuroplasticity after experimental stroke is critical to the development of potential neurorestorative therapies and their application in the clinic.

Mr Siyi (Robert) Chen is a  Visiting PhD Candidate at CAI from the School of Pharmacy & Center for Brain Research, University of Auckland, New Zealand.

About CAI Seminar Series

The perfect opportunity to attend cutting-edge research presentations involving CAI researchers or collaborators, each Tuesday at 9:30am in the CAI Seminar Room, entry via CAI main doors, facing Wep Harris oval (see map).

If you would like weekly email notification for the seminar series or are interested in presenting, please contact Dr Lorine Wilkinson.