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Inosine May Help Recover Motor Functions in Brain Injury

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The brain tissue can die because the effects of stroke, traumatic brain damage, or neurodegenerative conditions. When the affected areas include the motor cortex, fine motor impairment of the hand can result. In a new study published in Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience, researchers have found out that inosine, a naturally occurring purine nucleoside that’s released by cells based on metabolic stress, can aid to revive motor control after brain injury.

Based on rodent study reports, researchers used eight rhesus monkeys ranging in age from 5 to 10 years (roughly identical to people from 15 to 30 years of age). All medical examinations and motor capabilities have been verified, together with video recording of fine motor capabilities used to retrieve small food rewards. All monkeys were given initial MRI scans to make certain there have been no hidden abnormalities in the brain.

Brain accidents had been created in the area controlling each monkey’s favoured hand. Four monkeys received inosine treatment, whilst four were given a placebo. Restoration of motor function was then measured for a interval of 14 weeks after the surgical procedure.


Even as both groups recovered motor functioning, three out of four of the treated monkeys had been competent to return to their pre-operative grasping methods. The placebo group developed a compensatory grasping approach for retrieving food rewards not like the usual thumb-and-finger procedure.

The lead investigator Tara L. Moore, PhD, of the Department of Anatomy & Neurobiology and the Department of Neurology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA remarked, In the clinical context, the enhanced recovery of grasp pattern suggests that inosine facilitates greater recovery from this type of cortical injury and motor impairment. To our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate the positive effects of inosine for promoting recovery of function following cortical injury in a non-human primate.

Inosine has additionally been administered in human medical trials for multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disorder and has been confirmed to be safe in doses up 3000 mg/day. Athletes have used inosine as a nutritional supplement for decades, and inosine supplements are extensively available commercially. Dr. Moore further noted, Given the effectiveness of inosine in promoting cortical plasticity, axonal sprouting, and dendritic branching, the present evidence of efficacy after cortical injury in a non-human primate, combined with a long history of safe use, indicates a need for clinical trials with inosine after cortical injury and spinal cord injury.

This study points out to neural plasticity, whereby the mind virtually “re-wires” connections between neurons to reestablish control pathways, as a therapeutic target for the recovery of fine motor control and grasping potential. Additional studies of cortical tissue from these monkeys are presently being completed and could provide further insights into the mechanisms underlying healing.

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