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IGF-1 and Stroke

Recent studies have shown that patients who suffered from acute stroke and those who are at increased risk for stroke have depressed blood levels of IGF-1. [158-166] It seems also that post-stroke IGF-1 blood levels are correlated with the outcome from ischemic brain injury (insufficient blood flow to the brain), with higher IGF-1 levels reducing lethality. [167] Many studies have shown the benefits of IGF-1 administration in post-stroke patients by reducing loss of neurons, infarct volume (extent of ischemic brain injury), while increasing glial proliferation (glial cells supply essential nutrients and protect the neurons). [168] Moreover, IGF-1 appears to be linked with repair processes following brain damage by controlling the regeneration of injured peripheral nerves. [169] In one study, Sohrabji et al. reported that estrogen-mediated neuroprotection in neural injury models is critically dependent on IGF-1 signaling. [170] The results of the study showed that estrogen and IGF-1 act cooperatively to influence cell survival. When given alone, posttraumatic administration of IGF-1 may be efficacious in ameliorating neurobehavioral dysfunction in traumatic brain injury. [171-172] A study by Lioutas et al. even found that intranasal IGF-1 administration has demonstrated a benefit for prevention of cognitive decline in older people, and has shown to improve functional outcomes in patients who suffered from stroke. [173]

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