An interesting research development points to Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) as a means of combating physical damage resulting from stroke and other neurodegenerative disorders. A recent study from Louisiana State University found DHA to be a protective therapeutic agent which appears to protect brain tissue and promote recovery in an experimental model of acute ischemic stroke.
Funded by NIH, this research could have far reaching impact on the immediate treatment and the future prospects of stroke victims. DHA was found to have therapeutic effects even when the treatment is delayed by up to five hours from onset of stroke, which could signal a very viable new treatment approach, considering the relatively long window for application of the therapy.
According to a written statement by lead researcher Dr. Nicolas Bazan, Director of the Neuroscience Center at LSU, this new research is a stepping stone forward:
"We are just now beginning to understand the significant impact of omega-3 essential fatty acids on stroke. There is no simple solution just yet, but each new discovery brings us closer to defeating stroke and other debilitating neurodegenerative diseases."
Stroke is the second leading cause of individuals over 60 years old, and the leading cause of long-term disability, costing the US alone nearly $74 billion in direct and indirect costs. "Stroke is an outright attack on the nervous system, and each year stroke kills over 150,000 Americans,” writes Dr. Bazan. “Truly for the first time, translational research and the clinics are poised to converge in their public health efforts to combat stroke. From a therapeutic point of view, we can now see a light at the end of the tunnel. What we need now is for the political and societal views on stroke to converge in the same way that the research laboratories and hospitals are now doing. This would be a major step forward in fighting this disease."
For further info, please consult the resources below:
Translational Stroke Research: Docosahexaenoic Acid Therapy of Experimental Ischemic Stroke
Science Daily: Fish Oil Component Given Up to 5 Hours After Stroke Limits Brain Damage, Study Finds