New research into brain chemistry could prevent the brain damage seen in conditions such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's stroke and other head injury.
Researchers from the Universite de la Mediterranee revealed that key molecule KCC2 has a protective function in the brain, rather than a harmful one.
They believe that development of an artificial form of the compound could provide protection of the brain in such cases, according to the study published in the Journal of Physiology.
Dr Igor Medina from the university said: "Neuroprotective agents that may stem from this research would benefit the victims of car crashes, stroke and those suffering with epilepsy, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's – it's a major focus for further studies."
This follows news that eating fresh fruit and oily fish could stave off dementia.
Dr Susanne Sorensen, head of research at the Alzheimer's Society, said that the vitamins and antioxidants found in fresh fruit and vegetables are known to protect the brain.
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