COLUMBUS, Ohio Ten weeks of preventive supplementation with a natural form of vitamin E called tocotrienol in dogs that later had strokes reduced overall brain tissue damage, prevented loss of neural connections and helped sustain blood flow in the animals' brains, a new study shows.
Researchers say the findings suggest that preventive, or prophylactic, use of this natural form of vitamin E could be particularly helpful to people considered at highest risk for a major stroke: those who have previously suffered a ministroke, or a temporary stoppage of blood flow in the brain.
Of the almost 800,000 strokes in the United States each year, an estimated 25 percent are repeat events, according to the American Heart Association.
Vitamin E occurs naturally in eight different forms, and this work led by Ohio State University scientists is focused on the tocotrienol form, also known as TCT. The commonly known form of vitamin E belongs to a variety called tocopherols. TCT is not abundant in the American diet but is available as a nutritional supplement. It is a common component of a typical Southeast Asian diet.
In the study, 24 hours after a stroke, lesions indicating brain tissue damage were about 80 percent smaller in dogs that received supplementation than were the lesions in dogs that received no intervention. Imaging tests showed that the treated animals' brains had better blood flow at the stroke site as compared to untreated dogs' brains, a difference attributed to tiny collateral blood vessels' ability to improve circulation in the brain when blood flow stopped in more substantial vessels.
"For the first time, in this pre-clinical large-animal model, we were able to see something that we were never able to see in the mouse or the rat: that if you had a stroke and you had prophylactically taken tocotrienol, the area of the brain affected by the stroke received blood flow from the collaterals," said Chandan Sen, profess
|Contact: Chandan Sen|
Ohio State University