Dark Chocolates May Protect Brain After Stroke

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Researchers at John; Hopkins have discovered that a compound in dark chocolate may protect the brain idler a stroke by in­creasing cellular signals already known to shield nerve cells from damage.

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Ninety minutes after feeding mice a single modest dose of epicatechin (a compound found naturally in dark chocolate), the scientists induced an ischemic stroke by essen­tially cutting  blood supply to the animal brains. They found that the animal suffered significantly less brain damage than the ones that had not been given the compound.

While   most   treatments against stroke in humans have to be given within a 2-3 hours time Window to be effective; epicatechin appeared to limit further neuronal, damage when given to mice 3.5 hours after a stroke. Given six hours after a stroke, however, the compound offered no protection to brain cells.

Sylvain Dore, Ph.D., associate professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine and: pharmacology and molecular sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medi­cine, says his study suggests that epicatechin stimulates two previously well-established pathways known to shield nerve cells in the brain from damage. When the stroke hits, the brain is ready to protect itself because these pathways – Nrf2 and home oxygenase 1 — are activated.

The study now ap­pears online in the Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and

metabolism.

Eventually,   Dore says, he hopes his re­search into these pathways could lead to insights into limiting acute stroke damage and possibly protecting against chronic neu­rological degenerative conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related cognitive disorders.

James S. Tate is a health enthusiast who likes to write helpful articles on health. He knows how to keep perfect balance of health via maintaining perfect diet. Follow him for all the future updates.

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