Stopping Stroke Damage: Time is Life

Every year, 750,000 Americans suffer a stroke, and more than 150,000 die. Time is life following an attack, so the sooner you get treatment, the better chance you have to survive. A stroke can take away your ability to speak or even move — functions that may never come back. But now, scientists may have found a new way to stop and even reverse that damage. Robyn Haines has your Healthy Living. 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. But 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. A team led by LSU neuroscientist doctor Nicolas Bazan discovered that one injection of DHA, an important component of fish oil, can protect the brain for up to five hours after a stroke and stop the damage. In these experimental models, the red area is the stroke damage without DHA. In the brain with DHA –much less damage. And the injured area continues to shrink from the first day to the seventh. It's still early, but some are calling it a breakthrough. 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.