Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Blue-green algae tested for treating amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Date:
December 22, 2010
Source:
University of South Florida (USF Health)
Summary:
Spirulina, a nutrient-rich, blue-green algae, an ancient food source used by the Aztecs, may have a dual antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect on motor neurons. Spirulina appeared to provide neuroprotective support for dying motor neurons in a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Nutritional supplementation with Spirulina, a nutrient-rich, blue-green algae, appeared to provide neuroprotective support for dying motor neurons in a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, University of South Florida neuroscientists have found. Although more research is needed, they suggest that a spirulina-supplemented diet may provide clinical benefits for ALS patients.

A spirulina dietary supplement was shown to delay the onset of motor symptoms and disease progression, reducing inflammatory markers and motor neuron death in a G93A mouse model of ALS. Spirulina, an ancient food source used by the Aztecs, may have a dual antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect on motor neurons, the researchers said.

Their study is published in the current issue of The Open Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Journal.

"ALS is a degenerative motor neuron disease," said the study's lead author, Svitlana Garbuzova-Davis, PhD, DSc, assistant professor in the Department of Neurosurgery and Brain Repair at USF. "Most available treatments relieve symptoms without altering the underlying disease. However, evidence for oxidative stress has been associated with ALS and, in our past studies, we demonstrated potent decreases in markers of oxidative damage and inflammation in aged rats fed diets supplemented with spirulina or spinach. In this initial study, the diet supplement was fed only to pre-symptomatic mice. Further studies showing the diet supplement's effect on the lifespan of symptomatic ALS mice are needed to prove the treatment's effectiveness."

Specifically, when the USF researchers tested compounds found in blueberries and spirulina for effectiveness in animal models of stroke and aging in past experiments, they noted neuroprotective effects of the nutritional supplements.

The current study compared ALS mice receiving a spirulina-supplemented diet over a 10-week period with mice that did not receive the diet supplementation. The spirulina-fed ALS mice showed reduced inflammatory markers and motor neuron degeneration over that period.

"The focus of our future ALS experiments will include motor neuron counts and an examination of lifespan following dietary spirulina supplementation in symptomatic ALS mice," said study co-author Paula C. Bickford, PhD, a professor in the USF Department of Neurosurgery and Brain Repair and a senior research biologist at the James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital in Tampa, Florida.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of South Florida (USF Health). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Svitlana Garbuzova-Davis and Paula C. Bickford. Short Communication: Neuroprotective Effect of Spirulina in a Mouse Model of ALS. The Open Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, 3:36-41 DOI: 10.2174/1875043501003010036

Cite This Page:

University of South Florida (USF Health). "Blue-green algae tested for treating amyotrophic lateral sclerosis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101221101833.htm>.
University of South Florida (USF Health). (2010, December 22). Blue-green algae tested for treating amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101221101833.htm
University of South Florida (USF Health). "Blue-green algae tested for treating amyotrophic lateral sclerosis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101221101833.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Attacking Superbugs

Attacking Superbugs

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) — Two weapons hospitals can use to attack superbugs. Scientists in Ireland created a new gel resistant to superbugs, and a robot that can disinfect a room in minutes. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cultural Learning In Wild Chimps Observed For The First Time

Cultural Learning In Wild Chimps Observed For The First Time

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) — Cultural transmission — the passing of knowledge from one animal to another — has been caught on camera with chimps teaching other chimps. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Earth Has Lost Half Its Vertebrate Wildlife Since 1970: WWF

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) — A new study published by the World Wide Fund for Nature found that more than half of the world's wildlife population has declined since 1970. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Annual Dog Surfing Competition Draws California Crowds

Annual Dog Surfing Competition Draws California Crowds

AFP (Sep. 30, 2014) — The best canine surfers gathered for Huntington Beach's annual dog surfing competition, "Surf City, Surf Dog." Duration: 01:15 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins