Cerebrovascular disease is the leading cause of death and disability in Japan and most Western countries. Gene transfer techniques may be applicable to the treatment of serious types of stroke, since several experimental studies have revealed the usefulness of gene therapy in the prevention of vasospasm after subarachnoid hemorrhage, reduction of infarct size and improvement of neuronal functions. Midkine is reported to have anti-apoptotic effects, and the gene transfer of midkine to the ischemic brain may provide neuroprotective effects. Furthermore, chemotactic effects of midkine could be utilized for the neurogenesis and functional recovery. We describe the novel possibility of the stroke treatment using midkine gene transfer.
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