Low Levels of Natural Antibodies 'Cause Stroke'
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13 February, 2010
Low levels of a certain type of antibody in the immune system may be one of the main reasons behind strokes, says a new study.
Researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden have claimed that the findings would pave the way for the development of a new vaccine that can mobilise the body’s own defence against arteriosclerosis and stroke.
In the study, the researchers focused exclusively on stroke – a blood clot in the brain – and compared 227 individuals who had suffered stroke over a 13–year period with 445 sex and age–matched controls.
After controlling for other risk factors (age, sex, smoking habits, cholesterol levels, diabetes, BMI and blood pressure), they were able to show that low levels (below 30 per cent of average) of PC antibodies correlated with a higher risk of stroke, which in women meant a three–fold increase.
The researchers have now advanced the hypothesis that low levels of natural PC antibodies contribute to development of arteriosclerosis and its consequences which include stroke.