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Cameron Rink, PhD

Award Name Pilot Grant


Type of vitamin E reduces size of a stroke, protects brain from injury

Cameron Rink, PhD, was awarded a pilot grant from the Center for Clinical and Translational Science for his research in ischemic stroke biology.

Strokes are the third leading cause of death and the number one cause of long term disability in people. Over the last 23 years, there have been hundreds of clinical trials to test stroke therapeutics, but only two therapeutics have been successful: aspirin and a drug by the name of tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA.

Rink is focusing on a type of vitamin E called alpha-tocotrienol. Alpha-tocotrienol has been studied previously and researchers found that it is highly effective in reducing the size of a stroke and protects the brain from stroke injury.

Rink is exploring the effects alpha-tocotrienol has on the blood vessels in the brain. During a stroke, a blood vessel is blocked with a clot, which is called an ischemic stroke. Ischemic strokes make up about 83 percent of strokes that are recorded.

After a stroke, blood vessels in the brain are destroyed. Rink has found that alpha-tocotrienol actually recruits blood vessels from different territories in the brain back to the stroke affected region, which is called arterial genesis.

Rink is testing this effect in large animals such as canines.

By Jessica Henry, Thursday, June 14, 2012



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