The Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw®
Life Extension NewsTM
Volume 16 No. 8 • September 2013

Protection Against Recurrent
Strokes with Resveratrol

Having suffered a transient ischemic attack (a TIA, or partial stroke) or a minor stroke greatly increases one’s risk of having a more serious recurrent stroke. One paper1 reports that 6–15% of these people suffer stroke recurrence within 90 days and in up to 21% of patients by one year after the initial insult. The researchers1 had found that an MCAO (middle carotid artery occlusion), a very common rodent model of a stroke, can after a short period result in scattered brain cell death (necrosis) and that a moderate stroke following this event had exacerbated damage. They note that damage from a TIA or minor stroke is not always detectable with standard diagnostic imaging techniques.

The researchers studied 42 rats that were subject to MCAO, which resulted in their suffering a greater than 90% reduction in cortical perfusion in the core region. They modeled a recurrent stroke by subjecting the rats to a mild ischemic stroke followed by another mild stroke, which resulted in a higher damage score than what occurred from just the initial stroke with more dead tissue. Treating the animals with oral resveratrol for three days (25 mg/kg/day) prior to a single mild stroke reduced the amount of damage detected as compared with animals that received vehicle (same as that carrying the resveratrol). Interestingly, resveratrol did not improve cerebral blood flow in the affected areas, but did improve blood-brain-barrier function, thereby reducing leakage and edema. “Rather unexpected was our finding that resveratrol-treated rats subjected to recurrent stroke had less ischemic injury than untreated rats with a single mild ischemic stroke.”1

The scientists also studied the protective effects of resveratrol in vitro in endothelial cells. “… we found that pre-treatment of brain endothelial cells in culture with low doses of resveratrol improved their viability following oxygen glucose deprivation which could also explain improved BBB [blood-brain-barrier] following cerebral ischemia. The improved viability observed in their study was, the authors point out, consistent with the resveratrol-mediated protection of cerebral endothelial cells against apoptosis induced by oxidized low-density lipoproteins, as well as protection against high-glucose induced damage or death from oxidative stress as reported in other studies.

These results suggest a possible means of reducing the damage of a recurrent stroke in those who may have already had a minor stroke. As the authors sum it up: “Collectively, the results support that oral resveratrol treatment provides a low risk strategy to protect the brain from enhanced damage produced by recurrent stroke which is mediated in part by a protective effect of resveratrol on the endothelium of the cerebrovasculature.”


  1. Clark et al. Protection against recurrent stroke with resveratrol: endothelial protection. PLoS One. 7(10):e47792 (Oct. 2012).

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