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Beetroot compound may prevent Alzheimer’s

The team investigated betanin's potential to block the effects of copper on beta-amyloid and, in turn, prevent the misfolding of these peptides and the oxidation of neurons

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Beetroot can help prevent Alzheimer's disease. IANS
  • Beetroot can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease
  • A compound found in it can also lead to the development of drugs for the disease
  • Betanin found in it can do wonders for the patients of Alzheimer’s

A compound found in beetroot that gives the vegetable its distinctive red colour could help prevent Alzheimer’s, finds a study that could lead to the development of drugs for treating the disease.

The findings showed that the compound betanin in beetroot extract could eventually help slow the accumulation of misfolded proteins in the brain, a process that is associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

Diabetes drug could now treat Alzheimer's disease
Beetroot compounds can help develop a drug for Alzheimer’s disease. IANS

“Our data suggest that betanin shows some promise as an inhibitor of certain chemical reactions in the brain that are involved in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease,” said Li-June Ming, from the University of South Florida.

Beta-amyloid is a sticky protein fragment, or peptide, that accumulates in the brain, disrupting communication between brain cells called neurons. Much of the damage occurs, when beta-amyloid attaches itself to metals such as iron or copper.

Also Read: Could diabetes drug cure Alzheimer’s disease?

These metals can cause beta-amyloid peptides to misfold and bind together in clumps that can promote inflammation and oxidation — a process similar to rusting — in nearby neurons, eventually killing them. Betanin is also used in commercial dyes that readily binds to metals. The team investigated betanin’s potential to block the effects of copper on beta-amyloid and, in turn, prevent the misfolding of these peptides and the oxidation of neurons.

When betanin was added to the copper-bound beta-amyloid mixture, the researchers found oxidation dropped by as much as 90 percent, suggesting that misfolding of the peptides was potentially suppressed. “We can’t say that betanin stops the misfolding completely, but we can say that it reduces oxidation,” noted Darrell Cole Cerrato from the varsity.

Pixabay
Betanin present in beetroot can help the patients. Pixabay

“Less oxidation could prevent misfolding to a certain degree, perhaps even to the point that it slows the aggregation of beta-amyloid peptides, which is believed to be the ultimate cause of Alzheimer’s,” Cerrato explained. The results were presented at the 255th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society in New Orleans. IANS

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2 Experimental Drugs Fail to Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

Drugs Fail to Slow Decline in Inherited Alzheimer's Disease

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Alzheimer's
Two experimental drugs failed to prevent or slow mental decline in a study of people who are virtually destined to develop Alzheimer's disease. Pixabay

Two experimental drugs failed to prevent or slow mental decline in a study of people who are virtually destined to develop Alzheimer’s disease at a relatively young age because they inherited rare gene flaws.

The results announced Monday are another disappointment for the approach that scientists have focused on for years — trying to remove a harmful protein that builds up in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s, the leading cause of dementia.

Alzheimer's
A doctor looks at a PET brain scan at the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute in Phoenix. VOA

“We actually don’t even know yet what the drugs did” in term of removing that protein because those results are still being analyzed, said study leader Dr. Randall Bateman at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

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But after five years on average, the main goal of the study was not met: people on either of the drugs scored about the same on thinking and memory tests as others given placebo treatments. (VOA)