A recent study showed that venom from one of the world’s deadliest spiders can minimize strokes, a study published in The Guardian. This research, carried out by Australian scientists, revealed that there is a molecule in the composition of the venom of the name spider, funnel web (funnel spider web of the species Hadronyche infensa) that is able to protect brain cells from the sequelae that a stroke Causes, even when injected into the blood a few hours later.
“We believe we have, for the first time, found a way to minimize side effects after a stroke”, said Glenn King, a professor at the Institute of Molecular Bioscience and one of the authors of the study.
The discovery came as occasional investigators at the University of Queensland and Monash University looked at the DNA of the toxins in the poison of three spiders of this deadly species found at Australian beach Orchid in Queensland.
Although it was already known that the venom of this spider’s web funnel could kill a human in less than 15 minutes, scientists eventually discovered something much more interesting about the species. The molecule, named Hi1a, caught the attention of scientists for having similarities with another chemical used to protect the brain cells. From there, they decided to analyze the composition of the molecule and test it in order to prove its theory. “It proved to be even more potent than we thought”, Glenn revealed.
Thus, if discovery is applied correctly in tests on humans, it appears that this may be the first cure against the loss of neurons that an infarct can cause, as there are currently no drugs on the market that prevent these injuries.
Kate Holmes, of the National Association against Stroke, considered the molecule Hi1a as a possible solution for the treatment of patients and also as a breakthrough in medicine, stressing the urgency of its implementation.
“We welcome any treatment that has the potential to cure the aftereffects of a stroke, especially if we can help people who cannot get to the hospital quickly. We also urge that the treatment be implemented urgently. The sooner a person can get to the hospital, the quicker the right treatment can help her, helping her recover”, said Holmes.
Strokes occur when blood flow to the brain is interrupted and deprived of oxygen, about 85% of these accidents are caused by blockages in blood vessels, with the remaining cases occurring due to bleeding caused by vessel rupture. Stroke is therefore considered to be the second leading cause of death worldwide, with six million people dying a year after heart attacks.