Sen and colleagues have spent the past 10 years documenting in cell cultures and rodents how this form of vitamin E protects brain cells from dying after the insult of a stroke. They say that the results of this large-animal study offer the last piece of evidence needed to validate testing the nutritional supplement's protection against stroke in humans. A phase II trial of its effectiveness in humans is in the planning stages.
The research is published online and is scheduled for future print publication in the Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism.
In the study, 20 dogs were randomly assigned to one of two groups: those receiving a placebo pill, and those receiving 200 milligrams of mixed tocotrienols. Though alpha-tocotrienol is the form of the vitamin known for its protection of brain cells, the supplement for this study contained a mix of tocotrienols to make it more accessible and affordable.
The dogs ate regular food and received two supplement pills per day for 10 weeks. At this point, scientists induced stroke by blocking the middle cerebral artery in the animals' brains for one hour while the animals were under anesthesia.
The researchers used a variety of imaging techniques to examine the effects of the stroke on the two groups. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed the differences in the volume of tissue damaged by the stroke. One hour after the stroke, the lesions in the treated dogs' brains were about 60 percent smaller than the size of the lesions in the untreated brains. Twenty-four hours after the stroke, the lesions were 80 percent smaller in treated animals compared to untreated animals.
In collaboration with the Ohio Supercomputer Center, the scientists map
|Contact: Chandan Sen|
Ohio State University