Niacin may help brain function after stroke

February 25, 2010 9:43:44 AM PST
Doses of vitamin B-3, also known as niacin, could help people regain brain function after a stroke.

Researchers at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit found that rats who suffered induced ischemic strokes showed signs of blood vessel growth and new nerve cells in their brains after being treated with vitamin B-3.

Ischemic strokes are the most common type. They occur when vessels become blocked, preventing blood from getting to the brain.

The hospital is now testing vitamin B-3 treatments on people who have had a stroke.

The researchers note that niacin is already known as an effective treatment to boost levels of "good" cholesterol, which appear to be very low in people immediately following a stroke.