9 Feb 2012

Healing the Brain

From Our Changing World, 9:45 pm on 9 February 2012

Every day, 90 New Zealanders sustain a brain injury, ranging from mild to severe. Even in mild cases, cognitive difficulties such as memory loss and lack of concentration are common and can last for months, profoundly affecting a person's day-to-day life. Researchers at the Auckland University of Technology are investigating the use of supplements made from pine bark to treat these symptoms and to aid recovery. Valery Feigin, the director of AUT's National Institute for Stroke and Applied Neuroscience, led a team looking at the effect of the pine-bark extract on a group of 60 patients with persistent cognitive difficulties. The aim of the pilot trial was to test the effectiveness of the supplement in improving verbal memory, information processing speed and attention span. Preliminary results suggest an improvement in overall cognitive function.