Effects of Astaxanthin on Brain Damage Due to Ischemia

Effects of Astaxanthin on Brain Damage Due to Ischemia
Yoshihisa Kudo¹, Ryuichi Nakjima¹, Nagisa Matsumoto¹, and Hiroki Tsukahara²
1. School of Life Science, Tokyo University of Pharmacy and Life Science,
2. Fujichemical Industry co. ltd

Brain requires high energy-supply to keep its normal function. Well-developed blood vessels in the brain supply enough glucose and oxygen to generate required energy. When some part of blood vessels were closed or occluded by some reason, the area supported by those blood vessels will fall into ischemia and the neuronal cells distributed in the area will be damaged or die. Since neuronal cells have no neogenetic properties, the functions supported by the area will be lost forever. We know and take care of large scale of neuronal cell death which will cause severe loss of brain function, but we ignore small scale of ischemia which may have no apparent dysfunction. However senile dementia will be formed due to the accumulation of such small scale ischemic neuronal cell death. Although big efforts have been made to develop some drugs to rescue the cells exposed to ischemia from death, we have no effective drugs so far. Since astaxanthin has been known to have antioxidant effects, we expected this drug to rescue the cell damage during ischemia and re-perfusion.

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