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Dietary and Plant Polyphenols Exert Neuroprotective Effects and Improve Cognitive Function in Cerebral Ischemia

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Cerebral ischemia is caused by an interruption of blood flow to the brain which generally leads to irreversible brain damage. Ischemic injury is associated with vascular leakage, inflammation, tissue injury, and cell death. Cellular changes associated with ischemia include impairment of metabolism, energy failure, free radical production, excitotoxicity, altered calcium homeostasis, and activation of proteases all of which affect brain functioning and also contribute to longterm disabilities including cognitive decline. Inflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction, increased oxidative/nitrosative stress, and intracellular calcium overload contribute to brain injury including cell death and brain edema. However, there is a paucity of agents that can effectively reduce cerebral damage and hence considerable attention has focused on developing newer agents with more efficacy and fewer side-effects. Polyphenols are natural compounds with variable phenolic structures and are rich in vegetables, fruits, grains, bark, roots, tea, and wine. Most polyphenols have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-apoptotic properties and their protective effects on mitochondrial functioning, glutamate uptake, and regulating intracellular calcium levels in ischemic injury in vitro have been demonstrated. This review will assess the current status of the potential effects of polyphenols in reducing cerebral injury and improving cognitive function in ischemia in animal and human studies. In addition, the review will also examine available patents in nutrition and agriculture that relates to cerebral ischemic injury with an emphasis on plant polyphenols.
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Keywords: Apoptosis; brain edema; cytokines; excitotoxicity; memory; stroke

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2013

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  • Recent Patents on Food, Nutrition & Agriculture publishes review and research articles, and guest edited thematic issues on recent patents in all fields of food science & technology, nutrition and agricultural science & technology. A selection of important and recent patents in the areas covered is also included in the journal. The journal is essential reading for all researchers involved in food, nutrition and agricultural sciences and technology. The journal also covers recent research (where patents have been registered) in fast emerging technologies related to food additives, micro & macro-molecular food supplements, edible alternatives, food technology, nutraceuticals, healthy diet, nutritional value, calorie intake, malnutrition & related diseases, plant derivatives, agricultural technology and products, crop improvement and safety issues related to food, nutrition & agriculture.
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