Recovery for a wide variety of stroke patients can be ensured by the remote ischemic limb conditioning method that causes the inflammatory monocytes to increase in number.
Cutting off and then restoring blood supply to a limb following a stroke reduces tissue damage and swelling and improves functional recovery, according to a new study in mice published in JNeurosci. The simple, noninvasive technique could be developed into a treatment for stroke patients of varying severity.
Remote ischemic limb conditioning utilizes a blood pressure cuff and has been shown to aide in stroke recovery, potentially by affecting monocytes. Monocytes are a type of white blood cell involved in immune responses that can either reduce or promote inflammation, which is necessary in the tissue recovery process.
Surprisingly, the increase in circulating inflammatory cells was associated with reduced brain tissue damage and swelling and improved motor function. The symptoms improved for both moderate and severe strokes, indicating the potential for wide application as a stroke treatment.