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June 08, 2019 Saturday 12:07:54 PM IST

Broccoli to tackle schizophrenia

Science Innovations

Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers haveshown how to correct chemical imbalances related to the chemical glutamate in the brains of people with schizophrenia, using sulforaphane- a compound derived from broccoli sprouts.The researchers found on an average 4% significantly lower levels of the brain chemical glutamate in the anterior cingulate cortex region of the brain in people with psychosis compared to healthy people.Glutamate is known for its role in sending messages between brain cells.Researchers used the chemical sulforaphane found in broccoli sprouts, to turn on a gene that makes more of the enzyme that sticks glutamate with another molecule to make glutathione. When they treated  brain cells with glutathione, it slowed the speed at which the nerve cells fired, meaning they were sending fewer messages and behaved less like the pattern found in brains with schizophrenia.

This shows sulforaphane can be a safe supplement to give people at risk of developing schizophrenia as a way to prevent, delay or blunt the onset of symptoms thus reducing unwanted side effects of the antipsychotic medicines.


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