Neuroprotective compound resveratrol derived from red wine may help brain damage caused by concussions

(RxWiki News) Resveratrol is a wine derived compound that has been shown to offer protective qualities for the brain. For resveratrol to be therapeutic, one must drink 50 glasses of wine shortly after a blow to the brain. That may be a bit too much even for true wine-lovers!

UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers are corralling around professional boxers to ingest resveratrol after fighting to see if the damage from successive concussions can be minimized.

"Concussions may soon be treated with resveratrol."

Dr. Joshua Gatson, assistant professor of surgery in Burn/Trauma/Critical Care and principal investigator for the study notes that the only treatment currently available for concussion is rest and light exercise. In this study, researchers will be administering the required dose of resveratrol to the pro boxers once a day for seven days.

Additionally, pro boxers will take a supplement form of resveratrol immediately following their match. While implementing neurocognitive tests and new MRI protocols, researchers will track subtle brain activity including inflammation and cell restoration.

There is no drug therapy to protect the brain from consecutive concussions, which can be much more serious than a single concussion. Gatson also studies biomarkers and new therapies for traumatic brain injury.

There's been a lot of work with resveratrol showing that it also protects the brain, so he thought this might be the ideal drug.

Gatson explains researchers know animals receive a benefit from resveratrol if they received it immediately or quite soon after taking a blow to the head. Resveratrol dramatically and significantly reduces the long term damage.

Gatson continues the to say boxer study currently underway is a first look at resveratrol's effect on traumatic brain injury.

Resveratrol seems to have many therapeutic applications as it is being studied as an agent to lower blood sugar levels, fight cancer, and protect cardiovascular health. Treatments for stroke and Alzheimer's disease patients are also in the works using resveratrol.

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Review Date: 
May 27, 2011