Research at Neuroscience Center of Excellence at LSU Health Sciences Center suggests that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fatty acid, protects brain tissue and helps in treatment of acute ischemic strokes that result from loss of blood flow to an area of the brain due to a clot.

DHA that is rich in the fish oil aids proper functioning of the brain. It also plays an important role in development of the nervous system. Omega-3 fatty acids also help in reducing heart disease risk. It also has anti-inflammatory effects. Therefore it’s widely recommended among patients with different illness.

Researchers administered DHA or saline intravenously, at 3, 4, 5 and 6 hours, to study the effects of the fatty acid in stroke treatment. They noted that the volume of the area of destroyed issue was reduced by 40 per cent at 3 hours, 66 per cent at 4 hours and 59 per cent at 5 hours.

It was noted that it initiated production of Neuroprotectin D1 (NPD1), a naturally occurring neuroprotective molecule in the brain derived from DHA and discovered by Dr. Bazan.

Currently doctors are using clot-busting drugs to treat ischemic stroke conditions.

According to the World Health Organization, 6 million of the 15 million people with stroke die each year.

"We are in an unprecedented time, from a public health point of view, in regards to tackling stroke and other neurodegenerative disorders," concludes Dr. Bazan.

"Stroke is an outright attack on the nervous system, and each year stroke kills over 150,000 Americans. Truly for the first time, translational research and the clinics are poised to converge in their public health efforts to combat stroke. From a therapeutic point of view, we can now see a light at the end of the tunnel. What we need now is for the political and societal views on stroke to converge in the same way that the research laboratories and hospitals are now doing. This would be a major step forward in fighting this disease," he added.