Blood Biomarker for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Chronic Inflammation in the Brain in the Days and Weeks after Stroke

Case ID:

This invention comprises a method of identifying chronic inflammation in the day(s), weeks, or months after a stroke by measuring matrix metalloproteinase-12 (MMP-12) in a patient to determine whether therapeutic intervention is required to help immune cells process lipid debris after stroke to reduce secondary neurodegeneration. MMP-12 is a protein biomarker associated with neurological inflammatory diseases and has been found here to be correlated to chronic inflammation in the brain following stroke. Therapeutic efficacy may also be assessed using MMP-12 assays.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke every year. Also about 610,000 of these are first or new strokes. Furthermore, more than 20% of stroke survivors will have neurodegeneration that will lead to the develop a new dementia within one year of their stroke.  Chronic inflammatory response to stroke occurs in the infarcted area of the brain and causes further neurodegeneration in the weeks and months after stroke. This inflammatory response is driven by overwhelmed lipid processing in immune cells processing the lipid rich brain tissue destroyed by the stroke. Conventional treatments focus on imaging or assays immediately following a stroke, but do not include the use of peripheral bio-markers in the days or weeks following to identify patients in which this inflammatory response is occurring or used as a metric for assessing the effectiveness of drugs being used to treat the chronic inflammatory response to stroke.


  • Diagnose extent of secondary inflammation post-stroke that can lead to neurodegeneration
  • Guide administration of and evaluate effectiveness of therapeutic interventions for chronic inflammation post-stroke


  • Prevent neurodegeneration with simple test and intervention
  • Minimally invasive laboratory test
  • Strong correlation to chronic brain inflammation
  • Inexpensive form of diagnostic
Patent Information:
Contact For More Information:
Laura Silva
Sr. Licensing Manager, COS
The University of Arizona
Lead Inventor(s):
Kristian Doyle