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Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center research shows fish oil component given up to 5 hours after stroke limits brain damage
Date:11/9/2010

New Orleans, LA Research led by Dr. Nicolas Bazan, Boyd Professor, Villere Chair, and Director of the Neuroscience Center of Excellence at LSU Health Sciences Center, has shown that Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a component of fish oil, is a powerful therapeutic agent that can protect brain tissue and promote recovery in an experimental model of acute ischemic stroke, even when treatment is delayed by up to five hours. These findings not only target a new stroke treatment approach, but also provide vital information about the length of the therapeutic window. The NIH-funded research is published in the journal, Translational Stroke Research, now available online at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12975-010-0046-0.

Ischemic strokes result from loss of blood flow to an area of the brain due to a blockage such as a clot or atherosclerosis. The damage includes an irreversibly injured core of tissue at the site of the blockage. The area of tissue surrounding the core, called the penumbra, is also damaged but potentially salvageable. The penumbra has a limited life span and appears to undergo irreversible damage within a few hours unless blood flow is reestablished and neuroprotective therapy is administered. A cascade of chemicals floods the tissue along with restored blood flow, including damaging free radicals and pro-inflammatory enzymes which can cause further damage and cell death.

DHA is an essential omega-3-fatty acid and is vital for proper brain function. It is also necessary for the development of the nervous system, including vision. Moreover, omega-3 fatty acids, found in cold water fatty fish, including salmon, tuna, mackerel, sardines, shellfish, and herring, are part of a healthy diet that helps lower the risk of heart disease. DHA has potent anti-inflammatory effects. Since inflammation is at the root of many chronic diseases, DHA treatment has been widely demonstrated to have
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Contact: Leslie Capo
lcapo@lsuhsc.edu
504-568-4806
Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center
Source:Eurekalert

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