Strokes are a high-risk health problem, and according to WHO (World Health Organization), they result in the death of approx. 5 Million people globally every year. Although millions survive the health problem as well, however, most often experience some disabilities such as memory loss, difficulties with swallowing and speech. The most common cause of strokes is blockage of a blood vessel in the brain. Most medical experts believe that the best way to prevent permanent damage from this sort of stroke is by dissolving or surgically removing blockage as early as possible. However, these options are available for a short time window right after the stroke occurs and have huge risks involved. Blocked vessels in the brain of stroke patients prevent blood containing oxygen from reaching the cells and leading to severe damage.
This is a huge problem with no proper treatment or therapy currently available that can help patients who suffer from strokes. As a ray of light, a new study has been recently published that shows the possibility of producing oxygen through photosynthesis in humans. This is an enormous breakthrough for the Stroke Treatment Industry as it could help stroke patients. The research demonstrated that oxygen could be produced in mice through photosynthesis with the help of blue-green algae and nanoparticles. Their premise is that plants and some microns can produce oxygen by photosynthesis, and it will be immensely beneficial for humans if they could have this ability as well. The experiments and evidence from the research show that this might be possible in the near future.
There have been many instances wherein blue-green algae (such as Synechococcuselongates) have been studied before for treatment of lack of oxygen in heart tissue and tumors with the help of photosynthesis. But the visible light needs to trigger those microbes which can’t move through the skull. So, even though near-infrared light can pass through, it is insufficient for powering the process of photosynthesis. The Upconversion nanoparticles that are used for imaging can absorb near-infrared photons and discharge visible light.
The researchers revealed that they put S. elongatus together with neodymium up-conversion nanoparticles. This transformed the tissue-penetrating near-infrared light to a visible wavelength. The result is that the microbes can easily photosynthesize. While doing a cell study, the team discovered that the nano-photosynthesis approach decreased the number of neurons dying due to oxygen and glucose deprivation. In the end, they injected the nanoparticles and microbes into mice that have blocked cerebral arteries and then exposed them to near-infrared light. The findings show that the therapy was able to reduce the number of dying neurons, improved mice’s motor functions, and also growing the new blood vessels. The treatment is new and still at its initial animal testing stage; however, the study proves that they might advance towards human clinical trials sometime in the future.
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