DHA, a key essential Omega-3 fatty acid, produces signaling molecules called docosanoids in response to disruptions in the state of equilibrium within cells caused by injury or disease. Neuroprotectin D1 (NDP1) is a docosanoid that the Bazan lab discovered and found protects neurons by controlling which and how certain genes in the retina and brain respond. This new research shows that a lack of DHA in the brain may be linked to certain precursors of Alzheimer’s disease. When DHA levels are low, patients also experience neuroinflammation, dendritic spine damage, and inhibited communication between cells. When DHA is present, it is producing NDP1, which is associated with controlling inflammation and promoting cell growth and survival.
In stroke simulations, it has been found that treating patients with NDP1 can reduce the amount of damage done by the stroke. It also helps to save the tissues surrounding the core of the stroke. During the process known as “cell death,” NDP1 inhibits the cell from passing the point at which the process becomes irreversible. The research review discusses many of the functions of DHA and its docosanoid NDP1.