Omega-3 lipid emulsions markedly protect brain after stroke in mouse study.
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).