Image of a brain

Nanoparticles from ceria – a rare earth metal – might lessen inflammation in the brain following a bleeding stroke (hemorrhagic stroke), according to research presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2016.

Researchers from South Korea noted that previous studies have shown that ceria nanoparticles have strong antioxidant properties as well as anti-inflammatory effects. This study investigated whether the tiny particles could reduce inflammation that occurs just after an intracerebral hemorrhage (bleeding within the brain).

In a lab experiment, researchers studied a type of white blood cell called macrophages taken from the brains of rats and applied ceria nanoparticles to them. Compared with untreated macrophages, the macrophages treated with the nanoparticles secreted fewer inflammation-promoting chemicals.

In a second experiment, researchers injected ceria nanoparticles in 10 rats with brain bleeds. Compared with 10 untreated rats, the treated rats had less damage at the stroke site and less water accumulation, suggesting less inflammation in the area of the stroke, researchers said.