Scientists at Johns Hopkins have found discovered conclusive evidence that proves red wine consumption can indeed protect the brain from damage after a stroke.

According to the researchers, two hours after feeding mice a single modest dose of resveratrol, a compound found in the skins and seeds of red grapes, an ischemic stroke was induced by essentially cutting off blood supply to the animals'' brains.

They found that the animals that had ingested the resveratrol suffered significantly less brain damage than the ones that had not been given the compound. As for the mice that lacked the enzyme, resveratrol had no significant protective effect and their brain cells died soon after the stroke.

The study's lead author, Sylvain Dore, from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, says that this suggests that resveratrol increases levels of an enzyme (heme oxygenase) already known to shield nerve cells in the brain from damage. When the stroke hits, the brain is ready to protect itself because of elevated enzyme levels. "Our study adds to evidence that resveratrol can potentially build brain resistance to ischemic stroke," says Dore.

The study appears online in the journal Experimental Neurology.