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J Neurosci Rural Pract. 2013 Jul;4(3):292-7. doi: 10.4103/0976-3147.118784.

Effects of α-tocopherol and ascorbic acid in the severity and management of traumatic brain injury in albino rats.

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Department of Biochemistry, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, P.M.B. 2346, Sokoto, Nigeria.



Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is accompanied by substantial accumulation of biomarkers of oxidative stress and depletion of antioxidants reserve which initiate chain reactions that damage brain cells. The present study investigated the role of ascorbic acid and α-tocopherol on the severity and management of TBI in rats.


Wistar rats were subjected to closed head injury using an accelerated impact device. Rats were administered 45 mg/kg and 60 mg/kg body weight of ascorbic acid, α-tocopherol or a combination of the two vitamins for 2 weeks pre- and post injury. Blood and brain tissue homogenates were analyzed for vitamin C, vitamin E, malondialdehyde, superoxide dismutase, and creatine kinase activities.


The results indicated that TBI caused significant (P < 0.05) decreased in vitamins C and E levels in the blood and brain tissue of TBI-untreated rats. The activities of superoxide dismutase in TBI rats were markedly reduced when compared with non traumatized control and showed a tendency to increased following supplementation with vitamins C and E. Supplementation of the vitamins significantly (P < 0.05) reduced malondialdehyde in the treatment groups compared with the TBI-untreated group.


The study indicated that pre and post treatment with ascorbic acid and α-tocopherol reduced oxidative stress induced by brain injury and effectively reduced mortality rate in rats.


Antioxidant; oxidative stress; supplementation; traumatic brain injury

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