Why do we need this project?
Intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH) is a type of stroke, which is caused by bleeding in the brain, ultimately leading to brain damage, disability and often death. We currently know very little about the biological changes that occur in the brain after an intracerebral haemorrhage. Unfortunately, other than lowering blood pressure, no effective treatments are available for patients.
To increase the likelihood of treating patients successfully in the future, it is essential that we further our understanding of how cells inside the brain react immediately following bleeding. However, as there's no way of knowing whether someone is going to have an ICH, accessing patients straight after the bleed is very difficult.
To assist scientists and doctors with their research, animal models of ICH are required to study the biological changes that occur straight after the bleed. Unlike rodent models, which are commonly used in stroke research, young zebrafish are transparent, meaning that we can easily observe living brain cells under a powerful microscope. Recent work from Dr Kasher’s team has shown that ICH can be caused in zebrafish embryos and that the brain cells of these fish react to bleeding in the same manner as what is proposed to occur in humans.
What is the aim of this project?
To continue this research on ICH using zebrafish models so that we can gain a much better understanding of how cells of the brain respond to the bleeding and if there are ways that we can stop the damage caused.
What will happen during the project?
ICH models will be used to test medicines, to see if ‘blocking’ a specific disease process with a particular drug can reduce or prevent brain damage.
What is the intended outcome of the project?
This work could significantly enhance the field of ICH research in humans and help to identify new treatments for patients.