We all dread the thought of having a stroke, and the appalling - and sometimes lasting - effects it can have on our functions. But scientists have discovered that a simple herbal supplement can protect our brain against the worst of the damage a stroke can cause.
The over-the-counter remedy gingko biloba can halve the damage of a stroke, a new study has discovered. It also reduces the amount of paralysis and limb weakness that can result from a stroke.
Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Institutions in Baltimore discovered that a daily supplement offered protective effects, even after just a week, when it was tested on a group of mice.
The mice that were given the supplement suffered 50.9 per cent less neurological dysfunction following a stroke compared with mice that were not given the herb. The area of the brain damaged by the stroke was also 50 per cent smaller than that in the other group.
(Source: Stroke, 2008; published online October 9, doi: 10.1161/STROKEAHA.108.523480).