The Specific Role of Reactive Astrocytes in Intracerebral Hemorrhagic StrokeAuthor(s): Shenghao Zhang
Two decades into the two thousands, intracerebral hemorrhagic stroke (ICH) continues to reap lives across the globe. In the US, nearly 12,000 people suffer from ICH every year. Half of them survive, but many are left with permanent physical and cognitive disabilities, the severity of which depends on the location and broadness of the brain region affected by the hemorrhage. The ongoing efforts to identify risk factors for hemorrhagic stroke have been instrumental for the development of new medical practices to prevent, aid the recovery and reduce the risk of recurring ICH. Recent efforts approach the study of ICH from a different angle, providing information on how we can limit brain damage by manipulating astrocyte receptors. These results provide a novel understanding of how astrocytes contribute to brain injury and recovery from small ICH. Here, we discuss current knowledge on the risk factors and molecular pathology of ICH and the functional properties of astrocytes and their role in ICH. Last, we discuss candidate astrocyte receptors that may prove to be valuable therapeutic targets to treat ICH. Together, these findings provide basic and clinical scientists useful information for the future development of strategies to improve the detection of small ICH, limit brain damage, and prevent the onset of more severe episodes of brain hemorrhage.