Tuesday January 21, 2020

Now This California Plant May Hold Promise For Treating Alzheimer’s

Next, the team plans to test sterubin in an animal model of Alzheimer's, then determine its drug-like characteristics and toxicity levels in animals and later in humans

0
//
Alzheimer's
A lady suffering from Alzheimer's. Flickr

A potent neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory chemical in a native California shrub may lead to treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, say researchers.

The plant called Yerba santa, dubbed as “holy herb” in Spanish by native California tribes, has long been used to treat respiratory ailments, fever and headaches as well as for wounds, sore muscles and rheumatism.

A team of scientists from the Salk Institute identified from Yerba santa a molecule called sterubin, with a potent anti-inflammatory impact on brain cells known as microglia.

It was also an effective iron remover — potentially beneficial because iron can contribute to nerve cell damage in ageing and neurodegenerative diseases.

Overall, the compound was effective against multiple inducers of cell death in the nerve cells, said Pamela Maher, a member of Salk’s Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory.

"The question for us now is not how to eliminate cholesterol from the brain, but about how to control cholesterol's role in Alzheimer's disease through the regulation of its interaction with amyloid-beta," Vendruscolo said.
In Alzheimer’s disease, patients start losing memory. Pixabay

“This is a compound that was known but ignored,” said Maher, in the paper appearing in the journal Redox Biology.

“Not only did sterubin turn out to be much more active than the other flavonoids in Yerba santa in our assays, it appears as good as, if not better than, other flavonoids we have studied,” she added.

To identify natural compounds that might reverse neurological disease symptoms, Maher applied a screening technique used in drug discovery to a commercial library of 400 plant extracts with known pharmacological properties.

Also Read- Consumption of Allium Vegetables Like Onion, Garlic May Lower Risk of Colorectal Cancer

Sterubin was found as Yerba santa’s most active component.

Next, the team plans to test sterubin in an animal model of Alzheimer’s, then determine its drug-like characteristics and toxicity levels in animals and later in humans. (IANS)

Next Story

This Protein in the Human Brain Can Protect Against Alzheimer’s disease

Brain protein that could protect against Alzheimer's disease

0
Human Brain
Immune cells in the brain, called microglia, play a critical role in Alzheimer's disease. Pixabay

Researchers have found that a protein that regulates white blood cells in the human brain could protect against Alzheimer’s disease.

The results published in the journal Communications Biology suggest that this protein, called CD33, could have important implications in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease.

“Immune cells in the brain, called microglia, play a critical role in Alzheimer’s disease,” explained study co-author Matthew Macauley, Assistant Professor at University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada.

“They can be harmful or protective. Swaying microglia from a harmful to protective state could be the key to treating the disease,” Macauley added.

Scientists have identified the CD33 protein as a factor that may decrease a person’s likelihood of Alzheimer’s disease.

Brain
CD33 protein in the brain plays a crucial role in modulating the function of microglia. Pixabay

Now, Macauley’s research has shown that the most common type of CD33 protein plays a crucial role in modulating the function of microglia.

“The fact that CD33 is found on microglia suggests that immune cells can protect the brain from Alzheimer’s disease under the right circumstances,” said Abhishek Bhattacherjee, first author and postdoctoral fellow in the Macauley lab.

Alzheimer’s disease affects more than 44 million people around the world.

Also Read- EU Leaders Agree Making the 28-member Bloc Carbon Neutral by 2050

“These findings set the stage for future testing of a causal relationship between CD33 and Alzheimer’s Disease, as well as testing therapeutic strategies to sway microglia from harmful to protecting against the disease – by targeting CD33,” said Macauley.

“Microglia have the potential to ‘clean up’ the neurodegenerative plaques, through a process called phagocytosis — so a therapy to harness this ability to slow down or reverse Alzheimer’s disease can be envisioned,” Macauley said. (IANS)