Pine cone source for stroke drug

A molecule extracted from green tea leaves or pine cones may be able to reduce the brain damage from strokes, say scientists.

Gallotannin, and nobotanin B - found in a Japanese flower - both cut the damage from a simulated stroke in mouse brain cells grown in the laboratory.

However, there is no guarantee that they will work as well in a real patient.

The hours following a stroke are crucial to the future prospects, or even survival of the patient.
The stroke itself is caused by a halt to the blood flow to brain cells, either caused by bleeding on the brain, or by a blood clot lodged in a vessel.

However, although this kills some brain cells, once the blood supply is restored in the subsequent hours, many more cells tend to die.

This destructive reaction is still not fully understood, although scientists have found that a chemical signalling system has a role.

Source BBC News

Caffeine 'can ease headaches'

A cup of tea or coffee might be able to tackle certain types of headache, say researchers.

The caffeine it contains could help a higher number of people gain complete relief from "tension headaches".

Caffeine is already routinely added to many painkilling medications, including some which can be bought over the counter at chemists, and the latest research confirms that it has therapeutic value against conventional headache symptoms.

But researchers at the Diamond Headache Clinic in Chicago also found that giving caffeine in isolation appeared to be as useful as giving standard pain relief.

In all, 58% of headache sufferers said that taking caffeine capsules was completely successful, the same proportion as in those taking ibruprofen only - and many said they felt better more swiftly.

Tension headaches involve constant, dull pain, although not generally as excrutiating as a migraine.

Source BBC News

Garlic 'prevents common cold'

People who take a garlic supplement each day are far less likely to fall victim to the common cold than those who do not, research suggests.

Although garlic has been traditionally used to fight off and treat the symptoms of the common cold, this is the first hard evidence of its medicinal properties.

However, more research will be needed to corroborate the data.

Source BBC News