Twirling a whisker prevents strokes in ratsJuly 14th, 2010 - 3:36 pm ICT by IANS
Washington, July 14 (IANS) Researchers have found that common types of strokes can be completely prevented in rats by stimulating a single whisker, suggesting that similar results could be possible in humans as well.
So should men be tickling their own beards? And what about women, who are less likely to have facial hair?
A stroke usually happens when the main artery, bringing oxygen and nutrients to the brain, either ruptures or is blocked by a clot, causing partial brain death.
“Human beings have sensitive body parts wired to the same area of the brain as rodents’ fine-tuned whiskers. So stimulating the fingers, lips or face in general could have a similar effect,” researchers said, according to the journal Public Library of Science One.
“It’s gender-neutral. This is just the beginning of the whole story with the potential for doing things before a victim even reaches the emergency room,” says Ron Frostig, professor of neurobiology & behaviour, University of California, Irvine.
Frostig, who co-authored the study with doctoral student Melissa Davis, discovered that mechanically stroking just one whisker for four minutes within the first two hours of the blockage caused the blood to quickly flow to other arteries.
However, the alternate arteries expanded beyond their normal size, opening wide to allow critical blood flow to the brain, says a university release.
The technique was 100 percent effective in preventing strokes in rats with arterial obstruction.
Strokes are the third largest cause of death in the US after heart disease and cancer.
- Stimulating fingers, lips and face could prevent strokes - Jul 14, 2010
- New device removes clots from brain - Aug 27, 2012
- Statin can prevent strokes, besides lowering lipids - Jan 05, 2012
- Slightly high BP raises chances of stroke - Sep 29, 2011
- Stroke risk much higher if sibling had stroke - Apr 11, 2012
- Head patch can monitor strokes better - Feb 02, 2012
- CT scans can identify cause of some strokes: Study - Nov 09, 2010
- Tiny bubbles 'could deliver stroke drugs directly into the brain' - Nov 12, 2010
- Novel discovery could lead to new stroke therapy - Feb 18, 2011
- New way to treat heart blocks: Drug eluting balloon - Sep 18, 2011
- Harnessing deadly fumes to reverse heart disease? - Aug 03, 2012
- Spitting debris helps brain's tiny blood vessels survive - Jun 05, 2010
- Delhi hospital launches helpline for strokes - May 01, 2012
- Clogged arteries can also cause clouded thinking - Jul 22, 2011
- Latest scan can tell need for bypass - Aug 29, 2012
Tags: arteries, beards, blood flow, brain death, cause of death, death human, doctoral student, emergency room, facial hair, four minutes, frostig, heart disease, main artery, melissa davis, public library of science, rodents, ruptures, university of california irvine, whisker, whiskers