Compound found in red wine eyed for concussion treatment

11:24 AM, May 24, 2011   |    comments
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DALLAS (NBC) -- Researchers are studying whether a component found in red wine and grapes could help reduce the short- and long-term effects of concussions.

Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dalas are using resveratrol to treat boxes who sustain concussions in the ring.

The trial currently has five professional boxers in Dallas.

The boxers take an oral form of resveratrol to determine if it has long-term effects to aid in the treatment of concussions.

Resveratrol is already being studied as an agent to lower blood sugar levels, for use against cancer, to protect cardiovascular health and in stroke and Alzheimer?s disease treatments.

The study was named REPAIR by Dr. Joshua Gatson, who came up with the idea to try and treat concussions in athletes after watching a game of football on ESPN.

"We came up with the idea to treat sports concussions with a compound that's relatively safe and can eliminate a lot of the secondary brain injury that you see following concussions," he said.

James Grant, a professional boxer who is participating in the study, said he hopes the pill works.

"I'm 32," he said. "As I get older, I don't want to be slurring, talking bad, so I feel like this study will help me rehabilitate my brain [and] try [to] help me focus a little bit more," he said.

The study began last month.

Participants were given an MRI and a cognitive test.

The brain test will be reviewed and compared if they suffer a concussion while under the trial.

Researchers hope to release the results by December.

If successful, researchers hope the results could be applicable to concussions sustained in other sports such as football and hockey as well as everyday incidents such as falls, car crashes and other blows to the head.

Gatson said researchers hope to expand the research nationwide.

NBC

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