Vitamin Shows Early Promise in Treatment of Stroke
March 20, 2010
An early study suggests that vitamin B3, or niacin, a common water-soluble vitamin, may help improve neurological function after stroke.
When rats with ischemic stroke were given niacin, their brains showed growth of new blood vessels, and sprouting of nerve cells which greatly improved neurological outcome.
Stroke is the third-leading cause of death in America and a leading cause of disability. Ischemic strokes occur as a result of an obstruction within a blood vessel supplying blood to the brain. Ischemic stroke accounts for about 87 percent of all cases.
One underlying condition for this type of obstruction is the development of fatty cholesterol deposits lining the vessel walls. Niacin is known to be the most effective medicine in current clinical use for increasing high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), which helps get rid of those fatty deposits.