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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
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  • 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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Study- Fluid Drainage System in Brain Linked to Alzheimer

The study demonstrated that meningeal lymphatic vessels in the brain play an essential role in maintaining a healthy homeostasis in ageing brains and could be a new target for the treatment

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For the study, published in the journal Nature, the team engineered a hydrogel that can swell those lymphatic vessels.
For the study, published in the journal Nature, the team engineered a hydrogel that can swell those lymphatic vessels. (IANS)

Scientists have identified a fluid drainage system in the brain that sheds light on the underlying mechanisms of brain ageing and age-related Alzheimer’s disease.

The study demonstrated that meningeal lymphatic vessels in the brain play an essential role in maintaining a healthy homeostasis in ageing brains and could be a new target for the treatment.

These vessels drain fluid from the central nervous system into the cervical lymph nodes and dysfunction of that drainage aggravates cognitive decline as well as Alzheimer’s disease pathology.

Moreover, when the healthy aged mice were treated with a molecule that increased meningeal lymphatic vessel size and fluid flow within those vessels, the mice showed improved performance on learning and memory tasks.

“As you age, the fluid movement in your brain slows, sometimes to a pace that’s half of what it was when you were younger,” said Jennifer Munson, Assistant Professor at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), in the US.

alzheimers
The study demonstrated that meningeal lymphatic vessels in the brain play an essential role in maintaining a healthy homeostasis in ageing brains. Pixabay

“We discovered that the proteins responsible for Alzheimer’s actually do get drained through these lymphatic vessels in the brain along with other cellular debris, so any decrease in flow is going to affect that protein build-up,” she added.

For the study, published in the journal Nature, the team engineered a hydrogel that can swell those lymphatic vessels.

As a result of the treatment, the bulk flow of fluid in the brain actually increased, and that seemed to have a positive effect on cognitive abilities.

Also Read: A Landmark Study Links Herpes 6 and 7 with Alzheimer’s Disease

Munson noted that older mice with normal, age-impaired cognitive abilities experienced the biggest gains in memory and learning from the treatment.

“Our results showed that someday this method could be used as a potential treatment to help alleviate the effects not only of Alzheimer’s, but also other age-related cognitive ailments,” Munson said. (IANS)