Monday, November 21st 2011
Ronny Franks has spent the past year battling to regain her memory after suffering a traumatic brain injury when she tripped and hit her head on a wooden floor.
The Auckland woman, like thousands of others in New Zealand, suffers the daily frustrations of trying to remember what she did yesterday, trying to sleep with issues such as ringing in her ears, and learning to live with the difficulties and fears of a brain injury.
"I can't remember anything, not even what I did yesterday. I'll go to the cupboard and I can't remember why or what I want. It's frustrating and scary."
Franks, 64, a former Air New Zealand assistant accountant, was one of 60 people who were recently involved in a study to test the effectiveness on brain injury of a supplement containing New Zealand pine bark extract.
The study, by a team of AUT University researchers, headed by Professor Valery Feigin, the director of AUT's National Institute for Stroke and Applied Neuroscience, and Dr Alice Theadom, found the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of the extract meant people were three times more likely to recover their everyday memory than those who took a placebo.
Enzogenol, the name of the supplement, is a natural extract from the bark of New Zealand-grown pines.
The aim of the study was to explore its effectiveness in improving verbal and working memory, information processing speed, attention span, everyday memory difficulties and post-concussive symptoms in patients three to 12 months after a mild traumatic brain injury.
Theadom said the preliminary results indicated an improvement in day-to-day cognitive functioning.
"There was a significant improvement on the reporting of cognitive failures such as walking into a room and forgetting what you went in for, failure to remember names, forgetting directions on a familiar route, and forgetting to respond to correspondence."
Franks said the difference she noticed during the study was amazing. Each time she was interviewed she had to sit a random memory test, where she was asked to recall 20 items. When she started she could remember only the last four, but as the trial wore on she was able to remember all 20 each time.
"I was happy, I felt different – I felt very positive, I could just remember everything."
Feigin said 90 New Zealanders suffered a brain injury every day, including stroke, and traumatic brain injury was a leading cause of disability and death, costing the health system an estimated $100 million a year. There are now plans for a full clinical trial.
Sourced from Stuff.co.nz - Sunday Star Times
Footnote from Ideal Health:
The following products are all useful Antioxidants:
Enzogenol with ACE and Selenium
Resveratrol Age Defence
Vitamin C with Hesperidin Complex
Vitamin E 500 IU
Related health information can be found here:
Glutathione - the master antioxidant involved in disease prevention
Pycnogenol - a powerful antioxidant from pine tree extract
Smart nutrients for better brain function
Vitis, a powerful antioxidant derived from grape seeds
Related articles can be found here:
Doctors recommend a multi-vitamin a day
Blackmores Dismisses Flawed Antioxidant Research
How to boost your brain power
Is it really "all in your food"?
Pine Bark Extract Helps Brain Function
NADH: Energy incarnate
New Zealanders need zinc
If you need help or advice, you are welcome to email our naturopathic team with your health question.
Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered. The information is not intended to be comprehensive or to provide medical advice to you. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.
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