The Australian funnel-web spider is generally something you’d want to steer well clear of, but the creepy crawly could soon be helping out stroke victims. A peptide found in the spider’s venom has been shown to reduce the brain damage that occurs in the hours following a stroke, with early preclinical studies involving rats having delivered extremely promising results.
There may be an answer for people suffering from traumatic brain injuries. It’s a device called a brain-machine-brain interface — and it has the potential to revolutionize the way brain damage is treated in humans.
As it stands, there is no effective way to treat damage and improve function after someone experiences a traumatic brain injury (TBI). This is a problem for the 1.5 million Americans who suffer from TBI and the 800,000 stroke victims who suffer weakness or paralysis in the U.S. annually.