The reasons that diabetics experience greater damage during a stroke than non-diabetics has been uncovered by researchers in the US. A new study has found that blood sugar and a certain protein combine to increase bleeding when levels of blood sugar are high.
The research at the Joslin Diabetes Centre and published in Nature Medicine, was based on the injection of blood into the brains of rats, some of which had diabetes, with the bleeding being found to be 10 times greater in those rats with diabetes than those who were healthy.
Edward Feener, study leader, commented “Given the prevalence of strokes and the damage they inflict, these findings are exciting because they suggest the possibility that rapid control of blood sugar levels may provide an opportunity to reduce intracerebral haemorrhage, which is a clinical situation that has very limited treatment options.”
It has been shown that over half of those who have haemorrhagic strokes had high levels of sugar in the blood . However, the charity Diabetes UK have stated that the key is whether the research can bring clinical benefits for people with high sugar levels .
Iain Framen, director of research at Diabetes UK, said “This early research has made an interesting discovery into how high blood glucose levels interact with certain chemicals in the blood, and with the damage caused by stroke…however, there are limitations in the animal model they used so their results do not reflect what happens to the human brain when it haemorrhages.”

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