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Stroke Health Center

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Antioxidant Reduces Stroke Damage

Experimental Treatment Can Be Given Hours After a Stroke

WebMD Health News

Oct. 1, 2002 -- A synthetic antioxidant may have the ability to reduce the brain damage following a stroke by more than 40% -- even if it's taken hours after the stroke happens.

A new study shows the antioxidant, known as AEOL 10150, neutralized hazardous free radicals and prevented cell death in a mouse model of stroke. Researchers say the antioxidant is designed to mimic a natural antioxidant, but it works against a wider range of free radicals and also lasts longer in the body.

Naturally occurring antioxidants, such as vitamins C and E, are thought to reduce cell damage within the body by countering the potentially dangerous effects of free radicals produced when the body processes oxygen. Antioxidants are thought to be a promising treatment for strokes because they can be given after a stroke occurs to help reduce cell damage.

Strokes occur when blood flow to the brain is blocked or a blood vessel within the brain ruptures. Brain cells eventually die as they become starved of oxygen, causing paralysis and loss of function. Cell damage can continue hours after a stroke.

In their study, researchers at National Jewish Medical and Research Center and Duke University Medical Center simulated the effects of a stroke in laboratory mice and then injected AEOL 10150 into the brains of the animals six hours after the blocked arteries had been reopened. Researchers say the six-hour time window simulates the amount of time it takes for most stroke victims to receive treatment.

A week later, mice that were given the antioxidant had 43% less brain tissue damage than those who were given a placebo.

Researchers also tested injecting the antioxidant into the veins of the mice rather than directly in the brain. Although this method produced a smaller decrease in brain damage, it reduced both tissue damage and neurological deficit, which means the synthetic antioxidant can move effectively from the blood into the brain.

The study is published in the October issue of the journal Free Radical Biology and Medicine.

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