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Sonic hedgehog facilitates post-stroke axonal sprouting and function recovery

37 months
Approved budget:
Dr Andrew Clarkson
Health issue:
Neurological (CNS)
Proposal type:
Lay summary
Injuries to the brain from a stroke impair cognition and behaviour, typically with limited recovery. Stroke induces neurons to respond with a programme that looks very much like a re-activation of neural development - axons sprout from the remaining undamaged cells and new neural connections are made. Unfortunately, and for unclear reasons, this process does not go to completion and repair is typically poor. Our aim is to ensure that post-stroke neurons complete their repair process thereby ensuring functional recovery. We have identified the Sonic hedgehog pathway, which we and others have shown is an integral player in developmental axon growth, as a system that is re-activated post-stroke. The goal of the present study is to promote the sprouting of new connections and to improve function (i.e. behavioural recovery) in an in vivo stroke model by modulating the Sonic hedgehog pathway using a novel and clinically relevant drug delivery system.