Health News: Natural Product Shows Promise in Stroke Recovery

A new study using brevetoxin-2, a compound produced naturally by marine algae, stimulated nerve cell growth and plasticity in cultured mouse neurons. This research advances a new pharmacological treatment to aid recovery of brain function following a stroke or other traumatic brain injury.

Brevetoxin is made by a tiny marine dinoflagellate called Karenia brevis. In high concentrations, brevetoxin is responsible for the harmful algal blooms known as red tides that occur in the waters off the west coast of Florida. The neurotoxin-laden red tide causes respiratory irritation in humans and central nervous system paralysis in fish.