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Neurology

Researchers Identify Neuroprotective Compound

21 years, 4 months ago

8911  0
Posted on Oct 11, 2002, 6 a.m. By Bill Freeman

Researchers from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem believe they have identified a naturally occurring brain chemical that may act as a "neuroprotectant agent". Esther Shohami and colleagues discovered that levels of 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG) were 10-times higher than normal in mice four hours after they had sustained a traumatic injury.

Researchers from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem believe they have identified a naturally occurring brain chemical that may act as a "neuroprotectant agent". Esther Shohami and colleagues discovered that levels of 2-arachidonoyl glycerol (2-AG) were 10-times higher than normal in mice four hours after they had sustained a traumatic injury. Further studies on mice in which researchers induced brain injuries revealed that the recovery of mice who had been injected with a synthetic 2-AG an hour after the injury was significantly better than that seen in untreated mice. The researchers hypothesize that 2-AG may help to prevent some of the secondary damage that occurs after the initial injury to the brain by reducing inflammation, inhibiting the production of a toxic brain chemical, or simply by boosting the blood supply to the brain. The findings suggest that 2-AG may benefit humans who have sustained head injuries or other types of trauma such as stroke.

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Nature 2001; 413:527-531

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