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Study Suggests Potential Role For Niacin In Treatment Of Stroke

February 24, 2010: 04:43 AM EST
A new U.S. study has found that vitamin B3 (niacin) given to rats with ischemic stroke increased high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels, leading to development of new blood vessels and nerve cells and improved neurological function. Ischemic stroke – the third leading cause of death in the U.S. – happens when blood vessels clogged by fatty cholesterol deposits block blood flow to the brain. Niacin increases HDL-C levels and helps remove those fatty deposits. The researchers are now conducting clinical studies to determine whether an extended-release form of niacin can improve neurological function in stroke patients. If it works, a researcher said, “we're opening a whole new avenue of treatment for the leading cause of serious long-term disability in adults."
Press Release, Henry Ford Health System, "Vitamin B3 shows early promise in treatment of stroke", Eurekalert!, February 24, 2010, © Eurekalert!
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