232650_brain_still_7fe66e91-da84-4d1b-b08e-49045fb09539-prvSupplementing a natural substance that protects nerve cells and encourages new blood vessel formation may aid in new neural growth after stroke when started a week later, according to a mouse study presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference 2015.

Currently, the only FDA-approved drug, tPA, which dissolves clots to restore blood flow, must be given within hours after stroke.

Previously, researchers found that after an experimentally induced stroke (with temporary or permanent blockage of the middle cerebral artery), functional outcomes in rodents improved if they received the bioactive protein fragment perlecan domain V  within six-24 hours.

In the new study, 3-month-old mice received DV or an inactive substance seven days after stroke and every three days thereafter. After 21 days, more new neurons had reached the area of brain damage and survived in mice receiving DV.