Stopping Stroke Damage with a Shot

FRESNO, Calif.

50-year-old David Adams used to run a restaurant. Then, five years ago, he had a stroke. His life changed in an instant. Thanks to years of therapy, David's gotten his independence and some skills back.

"Reading, writing, talking, driving," David told Ivanhoe.

While David and countless others face the daily challenges of life after stroke, LSU researchers have been looking for a way to stop the damage. The answer came from a surprising place.

"DHA, which is a very important component of fish oil," Nicolas Bazan, M.D., Ph.D., aneuroscientist at LSU Health Sciences Center, said.

A team led by LSU neuroscientist doctor Nicolas Bazan discovered that one injection of DHA can protect the brain for up to five hours after a stroke and stop the damage.

"In fact, it does both, protection and reversion of cells that are in the process of being severely injured," Dr. Bazan said.

In the brain with DHA the injured area continues to shrink from the first day to the seventh.

"This could be the way to protect and minimize the terrible consequences of stroke." Dr. Bazan said.

It's still early, but some are calling it a breakthrough. David calls it something else.

"Beautiful, I mean beautiful," David said.

Administering clot-busting drugs is currently the only treatment for ischemic stroke. But, only three to five percent of stroke patients benefit from these drugs. LSU researchers hope to begin human clinical trials with the new fish oil compound within two or three years. Meanwhile, David Adams is working as a stroke advocate, helping other stroke victims in their recovery.

If you would like more information, please contact:
Leslie Capo, Media Relations
LSU Health Sciences Center
(504) 568-4806

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