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Stroke

DHA May Prevent Stroke Related Brain Damage

19 years, 3 months ago

5810  0
Posted on Sep 30, 2002, 6 a.m. By Bill Freeman

DHA, or dehydroascorbic acid - a chemical used in the synthesis of vitamin-C - may have potential as a treatment for stroke, according to researchers. Changes that occur in the brain shortly after stroke trigger the production of reactive oxygen species, or free radicals, which are toxic to brain cells.

DHA, or dehydroascorbic acid - a chemical used in the synthesis of vitamin-C - may have potential as a treatment for stroke, according to researchers. Changes that occur in the brain shortly after stroke trigger the production of reactive oxygen species, or free radicals, which are toxic to brain cells. This suggests that the antioxidant vitamin-C may help to limit this damage, but the molecule is too big to pass through the blood-brain barrier - a factor that renders it wholly ineffective. However, tests on mice revealed that DHA can cross this barrier and is able to protect the brain from stroke-induced damage by scavenging the toxic free radicals, and seemingly helping to restore cerebral blood flow. Altogether, the findings suggest that DHA, or a similar antioxidant compound capable of penetrating the blood-brain barrier, may be useful in the treatment of stroke in humans.

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Proceedings of the Academy of Science 2001; 98: 11720-11724

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