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Soon, red wine and grapes could help treat concussions

Washington, May 26 (ANI): Researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas are currently studying whether a compound found in red wine and grapes could help reduce the short- and long-term effects of concussions.

They are planning to recruit about 12 professional boxers to take the neuroprotective compound resveratrol after a fight to see if it reduces damage to the brain after impact and helps restore subtle brain functions and connections via its antioxidant effects.

If successful, the researchers hope the results may be applicable not only to concussions in other sports such as football and hockey, but also to everyday incidents such as falls, auto accidents and other blows to the head.

“We know from animal studies that if we give the drug immediately after or soon after a brain injury, it can dramatically and significantly reduce the damage you see long term,” said Dr. Joshua Gatson, assistant professor of surgery in Burn/Trauma/Critical Care and principal investigator for the study.

“There haven’t been any completed human studies yet, so this is really the first look at resveratrol’s effect on traumatic brain injury,” he added.

Resveratrol is already being studied as an agent to lower blood sugar levels, for use against cancer, to protect cardiovascular health, and in stroke and Alzheimer’s disease treatments.

The trial was named REPAIR by Gatson, who came up with the idea to try to treat concussions in athletes after watching a football game on ESPN.

In this study, researchers are administering the required oral dose once a day for seven days. Pro boxers will take a supplement form of resveratrol within two hours of their match. Researchers will then use neurocognitive tests and novel MRI protocols to track subtle brain activity, inflammation, and restoration of cells and connections.

“The main goal of our research is to protect the brain after each episode so that we can decrease the cumulative effect of these sports concussions,” said Gatson. (ANI)

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