Ever wonder how a nasal spray can treat a brain hemorrhage?

It may seem that the simple act of walking, running, or talking are anything but extraordinary; however, there is one extraordinary thing at the center of it all and that is your brain. Our brains allow us to move and function on a regular basis, giving us every opportunity to challenge ourselves intellectually and physically.

Keeping in mind (no pun intended) just how important the well-being of our brain is, it might come as a shock that 13 percent of strokes are caused by a brain hemorrhage. In fact, according to the National Stroke Association, 15 percent of all strokes are considered hemorrhagic.

What is a hemorrhagic stroke? To put it simply, a hemorrhagic stroke is caused by a weakened blood vessel in which blood eventually moves into and around the brain. This can cause severe swelling and pressure to the brain, ultimately damaging cells and tissue.

So, what can be done and can this be prevented? Well, according to Loma Linda University’s Dr. John Zhang and his team, the key to healing may be in a nasal spray. That’s right, a nasal spray. Preliminary lab testing suggests that the human protein — osteopontin — could prevent cell death, reduce swelling, and improve brain function in patients suffering from a stroke. This would be a first for brain hemorrhage treatment and steps forward in advancing research with the help of Vision 2020.

Through Vision 2020 we are on a quest to help Loma Linda University Health’s researchers in their pursuit of new discoveries and answers to some of life’s complex illnesses. Our vision is to create a healthier tomorrow that benefits the community and impacts the world.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently awarded a $6 million grant to Dr. Zhang and his team with the goal of establishing a Center for Brain Hemorrhage Research. A highly competitive and prestigious grant, this will offer the opportunity for Dr. Zhang to further his research in stroke prevention and treatment.

“By emphasizing research that has the potential to be translated to clinical management, we are pushing stroke research forward,” Zhang says.

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