Researchers at the University of Copenhagen have produced a new chemical compound for the possible treatment of brain damage caused by stroke. The compound binds 1,000 times more effectively to the target protein in the brain than another potential drug currently being tested on stroke victims. Stroke causes the brain to release large amounts of glutamate, an activating signal compound. This overactivates the receptors in the surrounding healthy tissue, causing the level of calcium in the cells to rise dramatically, which kick-starts a toxic chain reaction causing cell death. Scientists believe that this process is the cause of the brain damage that occurs in the wake of a stroke. "Research on animal models shows that the new compound we have designed and produced reduces the dead area in the brain after a stroke by 40 per cent," explains Anders Bach, medicinal chemist and postdoc at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences.