The power of antioxidants is something that scientists have been researching for decades with exciting results. A healthy habit as simple as eating blueberries has been shown to slow mental decline, for example.

An antioxidant developed in the 1990’s, MitoQ, is an antioxidant that directly targets the mitochondria, quickly eradicates free radicals, reducing oxidation and inflammation, with the added bonus of boosting neuronal energy.

What that translates into is exciting news for many diseases, as it has potential in treating certain diseases, including not only multiple sclerosis (i.e. MS), but also Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

A study conducted at the Oregon Health and Science University and published in the December edition of Biochimica et Biophysica Acta Molecular Basis of Disease was encouraging towards that end.

This study used mice with an animal disease, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (or EAE) that is very similar to MS. The study used four control groups of mice: A control group without EAE or any treatment, a group with EAE and no treatment, a group treated with MitoQ, and a group pre-treated with MitoQ.

After 14 days, they found that those treated with the MitoQ had reduced inflammation and increased neuronal activity in the spinal cord (which is exciting because this is the area affected by MS). This demonstrated that MitoQ was having positive effects. The mice that had been pretreated had the least problems.

P. Hemachandra Reddy, Ph.D., the scientist who headed the study said, "The MitoQ also significantly reduced inflammation of the neurons and reduced demyelination. These results are really exciting. This could be a new front in the fight against MS."

Although many more studies need to be done, and it could be years away from human studies still, it’s an exciting development.

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