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Tea compound aids dying brain cells

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12:04pm, September 26, 2007

From Washington, D.C., at the Fourth International Scientific Symposium on Tea and Human Health

A constituent of green tea can revive moribund brain cells, Israeli researchers report. The team experimented with animal neurons that had been chemically poisoned to model the death of dopamine-producing cells in Parkinson's disease.

In a test-tube study, low doses of epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)—the primary antioxidant in green tea—revived sick and dying neurons, reports Silvia Mandel of the Technion Faculty of Medicine in Haifa. Withered cells became fatter and more robust, she says, and the cells' shrunken appendages regrew and began reaching out to contact neighboring cells.

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