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Sham 6-OHAD + 6-OHAD + 6-OHAD + + control diet control diet blueberry diet spirulina diet

FIGURE 13.3 Bargraph showing the size of the 6-OHDA induced lesion in rats at 1 weekand 4 weeks following the lesion. The size of the lesion was measured as the tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) negative zone. TH is a marker of dopamine neurons. Following a sham lesion there is not loss of TH as shown in the bar graph. In all groups there was a large loss of TH at 1 week following the lesion and at this time there was no significant difference between the control and blueberry or Spirulina pretreated groups. The decrease in TH negative zone observed in the blueberry and Spirulina groups at 4 weeks after the lesion indicates a regrowth of dopamine fibers into the lesioned area. There was no significant decrease in the size of the TH negative zone in the control lesioned animals.

Sham 6-OHAD + 6-OHAD + 6-OHAD + + control diet control diet blueberry diet spirulina diet

FIGURE 13.3 Bargraph showing the size of the 6-OHDA induced lesion in rats at 1 weekand 4 weeks following the lesion. The size of the lesion was measured as the tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) negative zone. TH is a marker of dopamine neurons. Following a sham lesion there is not loss of TH as shown in the bar graph. In all groups there was a large loss of TH at 1 week following the lesion and at this time there was no significant difference between the control and blueberry or Spirulina pretreated groups. The decrease in TH negative zone observed in the blueberry and Spirulina groups at 4 weeks after the lesion indicates a regrowth of dopamine fibers into the lesioned area. There was no significant decrease in the size of the TH negative zone in the control lesioned animals.

In another animal model that mimics the neurodegeneration seen in PD is the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) model. In this model MPTP is injected and it selectively targets the dopamine neurons in the striatum causing necrosis. A recently published study failed to see a large beneficial effect of Spirulina to improve dopamine levels 1 week following the MPTP lesion. One possible reason for the difference in the two studies could be the time frame of the examination of dopamine levels. In fact, in the study referred to above, there was no difference in dopamine levels as measured by immunohistochemistry at 1 week following the 6-OHDA injury, but only at 1 month, suggesting that the primary effect was to promote regeneration of the dopamine neurons following injury, rather than an initial protection from the insult itself.96

The above compilation of data highlights recent publications pertaining to Spirulina in the CNS. These findings demonstrate that Spirulina has many beneficial actions in animal models of aging and neurodegernerative disease. Its combination of proteins, vitamins, essential amino aids, minerals, fatty acids, and antioxidants undoubtedly aid in overall health. This, has been known for many years and utilized by ancient civilizations. Its anti-inflammatory effects peripherally have lead researchers into investigating the potential of Spirulina to decrease inflammation in the aged brain and following insults to the brain. The idea that Spirulina can affect

OX-6-positive profiles in the injected striatum

OX-6-positive profiles in the injected striatum

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