Feedback | Tuesday, June 18, 2024

07/06/24 | 1:27 pm

Omega-3 therapy reduces brain damage in newborn rodents: study

A study has revealed that an injectable emulsion containing two omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil reduces brain damage in newborn rodents after a disturbance in the flow of oxygen to the brain near delivery.

Brain damage as a result of inadequate oxygen is a serious complication during labor and delivery that affects one to three out of every 1,000 live newborns in the US. Among babies who survive, the illness can cause cerebral palsy, cognitive disability, epilepsy, pulmonary hypertension, and neurodevelopmental disorders.

The study, conducted by researchers at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, also found that the novel omega-3 preparation is far more effective in rodents when compared to therapeutic hypothermia, the current standard therapy for this condition and the only one approved by the FDA. This treatment only benefits about 15% of patients and can cause heart and respiratory complications.

Previous studies by Richard Deckelbaum, a professor of nutrition and pediatrics at Columbia Universithave, have shown that the bioactive compounds in commercially available oral omega-3 supplements take weeks or months to have an effect, so they aren’t ideal for protecting organs immediately after injury.

The new diglyceride is predicted to cause a higher concentration of omega-3 molecules to rapidly penetrate the blood-brain barrier. The researchers gave the therapy to week-old mice and rats with hypoxic brain injury. The experimental emulsion reduced brain damage far more than a commercially available omega-3 injectable emulsion. Doses for both omega-3 preparations were similar.

The experimental emulsion may have worked better than the commercial emulsion because it was absorbed into the animals’ bloodstream two times faster.

The animals treated with the new therapy showed normal motor coordination and reflexes, which are indicators of neurological function, similar to those without brain injuries.

“The omega-3 diglyceride emulsion not only prevented brain cell death but also preserved neurologic function, which is important in reducing the cost of disabilities, both to the patient’s well-being and to the health care system,” Deckelbaum says.

The researchers hope to begin clinical trials in newborns within two years and plan to expand studies on the therapy’s effectiveness in preventing damage to the central nervous system in animals with traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury. Additional studies will explore applications in other acute injuries and conditions in which oxygen deprivation causes organ damage, including heart attack and stroke.

Copyright © 2024 DD News. All rights reserved
Visitors: 3693950
Last Updated: 18th Jun 2024