Computer model enables better understanding of what happens during and after stroke

November 27, 2012, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
A functional network model of processes important during neuroprotection and stroke, and how they might interact with each other.

(Medical Xpress)—At the moment that someone is suffering a stroke, the immediate concern is getting them stabilized. Once the initial attack has passed, additional treatment and preventive measures can be implemented. Understanding what's happening during the actual event, and in the subsequent hours and days, will help improve the effectiveness of the post-attack treatment plan, and also help identify methods of neuroprotection—that is, administer treatments to protect against a stroke in advance for potentially at-risk individuals. Computational biology researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory developed a model for predicting what's happening during a stroke, how the process evolves over time, the potential outcomes, and the effects of different treatment options.

The work was featured in the journal .

The ability to examine strokes and other biological processes, through the use of rather than after the fact on actual organisms, may significantly accelerate how quickly discoveries can be made in fighting diseases. The ability to model and simulate different treatments prior to administering them to a patient can help predict with more certainty which therapeutic approaches may be the most effective.

"This is the first step in being able to suggest {to } that if you do X and Y, you'd get a much bigger effect than what you're currently doing," said Dr. Jason McDermott, a PNNL computational biologist and lead author on the paper.

The team developed novel for extending existing methods of determining causal relationships between genes that are driving biological processes. They implemented ordinary differential equations—a process for describing how things change over time—to improve their ability to infer what these gene relationships might look like and to allow more dynamic simulation of these biological processes over time.

The team is looking at improving the model to simulate events that are happening during a biological process for which there isn't pre-existing data. Additionally, they plan to test the effect of adding drugs to a treatment plan and also will be looking at micro RNA molecules that currently aren't included in the model.

Explore further: Exploring cancer with computers

More information: McDermott, J. et al., Modeling Dynamic Regulatory Processes in Stroke, PLoS Computational Biology 8(10): e1002722. DOI:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1002722

Related Stories

Exploring cancer with computers

May 8, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- Computers can be used to identify cancer treatment targets that wouldn't otherwise have been considered, according to research by an Australian team.

Recommended for you

Bioengineered soft microfibers improve T-cell production

January 18, 2018
T cells play a key role in the body's immune response against pathogens. As a new class of therapeutic approaches, T cells are being harnessed to fight cancer, promising more precise, longer-lasting mitigation than traditional, ...

Weight flux alters molecular profile, study finds

January 17, 2018
The human body undergoes dramatic changes during even short periods of weight gain and loss, according to a study led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Secrets of longevity protein revealed in new study

January 17, 2018
Named after the Greek goddess who spun the thread of life, Klotho proteins play an important role in the regulation of longevity and metabolism. In a recent Yale-led study, researchers revealed the three-dimensional structure ...

The HLF gene protects blood stem cells by maintaining them in a resting state

January 17, 2018
The HLF gene is necessary for maintaining blood stem cells in a resting state, which is crucial for ensuring normal blood production. This has been shown by a new research study from Lund University in Sweden published in ...

Magnetically applied MicroRNAs could one day help relieve constipation

January 17, 2018
Constipation is an underestimated and debilitating medical issue related to the opioid epidemic. As a growing concern, researchers look to new tools to help patients with this side effect of opioid use and aging.

Researchers devise decoy molecule to block pain where it starts

January 16, 2018
For anyone who has accidentally injured themselves, Dr. Zachary Campbell not only sympathizes, he's developing new ways to blunt pain.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.