A recent study published in the National Center of Biotechnological Information (NCBI), has proposed the use of broccoli to prevent or delay Schizophrenia. Moreover, there is a number of recent studies suggesting the use to Sulforaphane, (found in sprouts) for treatment.
The researchers from John Hopkins University, are working in this area. They are familiar with the patterns of Glutamate functioning in the brain. Interestingly, this glutamate is able to perform communication between the brain cells. Also, the studies on Sulforaphane show that its potential to affect the functioning and can be used for the treatment.
Akira Sawa, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, in the John Hopkins University, is one of the researchers, working on the influence of Sulforaphane on the brain. He wants Sulforaphane to be a safe replacement, for other antipsychotic drugs. He wants to develop it for the prevention or delay or on the slightest out bust of Schizophrenia.
Schizophrenia is known to cause unkempt thinking, behavior as well as feelings. The patient might also get delusions and hallucinations. The most famous symptom know is that the person experiences voices that don’t exist. The treatments that are available in the market are not reliable. Thus, result in different side effects in different people, like heart diseases, or muscular disorders, etc.
How Sulforaphane was helpful in treatment?
The study was conducted on rats that showed the impact of Sulforaphane in treatment. The study was recently published in PNAS, they studied the activity of Glutamate and the effect of Sulforaphane on it. They turned the activity of rats’ brains to that of a Schizophrenic patient by using L-Buthionine. This resulted in less glutamate stored as glutathione. Causing a faster transfer of information among the blood cells.
The next part of the experiment showed how the use of Sulforaphane controlled the activity of the brain. This was done by Sulforaphane storing more glutamate as glutathione, bringing the activity to normal.
After Sulforaphane was tested successfully in rats, to control brain activity, it resulted in researches looking for similar results in Humans. 10 volunteers were studied, with their consent, for impacts of Sulforaphane on brain activity.
They were dosed with capsules containing the component, in the form of broccoli sprouts for a week. After they had used it for a week, Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) was done on the volunteers.
The target was to study the functioning of various areas of the brain and the cognitive activity as well. For instance, just in the hippocampus, the level of Glutamate rose from 1.1 millimolar to 1.37 millimolar. On a whole, the Sulforaphane, from broccoli sprouts, was to bring up to 30 % increase in Glutathione levels, in the brain.
Approximately 1 % population of the world is suffering from the mental disorder of Schizophrenia. Just this year 1.5 cases of the disease are diagnosed. The researchers are interested in finding treatment as they want to be able to prevent it. The patients who are prone to heart diseases or diabetes are able to prevent it by adapting to a healthier lifestyle. On the other hand, there is no such thing, for schizophrenic patients.
The research is still under progress and showing positive outcomes. Broccoli sprouts and other green vegetables are known to be a rich source of Sulforaphane. Consequently, the use of which could be helpful for patients of this disease.