Key to Severe Strokes Uncovered

A study on rats has uncovered a protein which increases bleeding when blood sugar levels are high. This could be one reason why people with diabetes can suffer more damage during strokes.

Elevated sugar levels have been linked to at least one in ten strokes, and in more than half of people with hemorrhagic strokes, which occur when blood vessels bleed into the brain. Hemorrhagic strokes tend to be more severe than other kinds, as they form over a larger area of the brain, cause more damage and increase the risk of death.

According to BBC News:

"Scientists ... injected blood into the brains of rats with and without diabetes. The bleeding was ten times greater in those with diabetes than in healthy rats. The group then studied the impact of a protein, plasma kallikrein ... The researchers found that a combination of high blood sugar and plasma kallikrein resulted in increased bleeding."

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