A stroke, or cerebrovascular accident (CVA), occurs when the blood circulation to the brain is interrupted by the formation of a blood clot that blocks an artery in the brain, known as a cerebral infarction, or by the rupture of an artery in the brain, a situation known as a cerebral or meningeal haemorrhage. As a result, nerve cells are deprived of the oxygen and nutrients they need and die, causing irreversible damage or sudden death.
In France, stroke is one of the main causes of mortality and the leading cause of physical disability acquired in adulthood.
Organised on the 29th of October every year, Annual Stroke Day is aimed at alerting the public on the need for immediate care as soon as the first symptoms appear: a numbness, weakness or paralysis in one or more limbs or in the face, loss of vision, difficulty in speaking, a problem with balance or a sudden headache.
The researchers in Unit 1171, “Degenerative and Vascular Cognitive Disorders” (University of Lille, Inserm, Lille University Hospital), work throughout the year to improve the current treatments and develop additional therapies. In a clinical study conducted in collaboration with teams from the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, Prof. Charlotte Cordonnier and her colleagues suggest a modification of the recommended treatment for patients who have suffered an intracerebral haemorrhage while regularly taking aspirin. The researchers found that platelet transfusion increases the long-term risk of death and disability compared with standard care without transfusion. Read the press release.
Prof. Cordonnier also studies hypothermia as a treatment for acute ischaemic stroke, as part of the European clinical trial EuroHYP-1, which she is coordinating in France. To find out more, visit the study website.
Meanwhile, research conducted by Jean-Claude Baron, a researcher at Inserm Unit 894, “Psychiatry and Neurosciences Research Centre,” has shown in an animal model that an oxygen mask almost completely prevents neuronal loss, and completely prevents sensorimotor deficits following acute stroke. A European study is underway to study this treatment in humans, which consists of a simple oxygen bottle and a light face mask.
Read the press release.
Researchers Régis Bordet, Charlotte Cordonnier and Jean-Claude Baron are available to answer your questions.
 To find out more, see the Inserm information file on the theme