For more than 30 years, scientists have been trying to develop drugs that will help prevent the death of brain cells damaged by a stroke. So far, they have had limited success. A recent study conducted by the Columbia University Medical Center suggests that in mice, when triglyceride lipid emulsions rich in an omega-3 fatty acid are injected after an ischemic stroke, the damage to brain tissue is reduced by 50 percent.
It is possible that these emulsions could have a similar effect in humans and reduce the effects of behavioral and neurological problems among survivors of neonatal and adult strokes. Omega-3 fatty acids are associated with multiple biochemical processes in the brain that may be disrupted by a stroke. Therefore, they may be more likely to protect the brain after a stroke.
Further studies on animals will be conducted, and if the results are promising, clinical trials could begin quickly.
Williams JJ, Mayurasakorn K, et al. N-3 fatty acid rich triglyceride emulsions are neuroprotective after cerebral hypoxic-ischemic injury in neonatal mice. PLoS ONE. (February 2012).