[ASC-media] Using diet to cope with the aftermath of stroke

Susan Kirk skirk at iprimus.com.au
Tue Nov 12 14:22:44 PST 2013

Interesting..the leaky gut syndrome?  Another area that is boohooed.


On 12/11/13 5:56 PM, "Niall Byrne" <niall at scienceinpublic.com.au> wrote:

> $25,000 Centenary Institute Lawrence Creative Prize goes to young Melbourne
> researcher
> Dear ASCers,
> Tonight, one of Australia¹s most creative young medical researchers won a
> $25,000 prize to help her develop her ideas on how diet could prevent stroke
> deaths. 
> Connie Wong thinks we may be able to prevent early deaths following stroke
> with a fibre-based diet. She initially used innovative microscope techniques
> to determine how stroke weakens the immune system. Now she is studying how it
> also induces leakiness in the gut wall, leading to infection and an upsurge in
> deaths. And the solution may well lie in diet.
> For her proposed ambitious and innovative research program, Dr Wong of the
> Department of Immunology at Monash University received this year¹s $25,000
> Centenary Institute Lawrence Creative Prize at a ceremony hosted by UBS in
> Sydney.
> Stroke is the second leading cause of mortality in Australia, resulting in
> more than 10% of all deaths. Of the survivors, over 60% die within a year or
> become dependent on others. The cost to the community annually is more than $2
> billion. ³So any increase in understanding the mechanisms and consequences of
> stroke that results in more efficient treatment could have enormous social and
> economic benefits,² says Dr Wong.
> In a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Calgary in Canada, Connie
> showed that stroke triggers a release of compounds by the nervous system,
> seemingly to reduce the level of inflammation in the brain. But this is at the
> cost of weakening the response of the immune system to infection generally.
> In particular, Connie found that these compounds change the behaviour of the
> white blood cells known as invariant natural killer T cells. As a result the
> body becomes increasingly susceptible to infection after a stroke, and that
> correlates with a subsequent upsurge in deaths from infectious diseases.
> Now Connie wants to investigate a linked observation that the gut wall becomes
> more permeable immediately following a stroke, allowing normally harmless gut
> bacteria to move into the body where they can initiate infection. She suspects
> that the combination of the leakiness of the gut and the reduced ability of
> the immune system to guard against bacteria, and that may be the cause of
> increased vulnerability to infection after a stroke. She now wants to explore
> if this can be alleviated by an appropriate, fibre-based diet.
> ³Exceptional young scientists can be hard to keep in Australia and we hope
> this award will not only celebrate their achievements but also encourage a
> domestic culture of brilliance in this truly important field,² says Centenary
> Institute Executive Director, Professor Mathew Vadas AO.
> The two other finalists who each received $5,000 to go towards their research,
> were:
> ·        Dr William (Will) Ritchie from the Centenary Institute, who has used
> statistics to unmask a molecular mechanism that cells use to regulate the
> levels of individual proteins. Future development of this work could lead to
> drug therapies for leukaemia, Alzheimer¹s disease, cardiac disease and liver
> cancer. He is now modifying his statistical tool to allow medical laboratories
> to detect the new mechanism‹ intron retention‹quickly and easily.
> ·        Dr Anne Abbott from Monash University, who is transforming the
> prevention of carotid artery stroke. She has shown that a healthy lifestyle
> and medication are now better than surgery or stenting for preventing stroke
> in patients with symptomless narrowing of the carotid artery. But that wasn¹t
> enough. She¹s has successfully campaigned to get the international medical
> establishment to update health policy, guidelines and practice.
> The Centenary Institute Lawrence Creative Prize is awarded for creative
> biomedical research excellence. Since 2011, the prize has had nine finalists
> and more than 30 semi-finalists.
> ³We believe the prize has identified a core of Australia¹s creative talent and
> created an alumni of young medical researchers who are not only aware of
> current issues but are not afraid to attack tomorrow¹s problems,² said
> Professor Vadas.
> ·        To arrange interviews, contact Tamzin Byrne,
> tamzin at scienceinpublic.com.au, 0432 974 400
> ·        High res photos and more information on the prize at
> www.scienceinpublic.com.au/centenary
> <http://www.centenary.org.au/p/about/lawrencecreative/>
> Kind regards,
> Niall
> ________
> Niall Byrne
> Creative Director
> Science in Public
> _______________________________________________
> ASC-media mailing list
> media at asc.asn.au
> http://www.asc.asn.au/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=97&Itemid=115

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