Chemicals in apple skins, red wine, tumeric could help fight Alzheimer’sNovember 30th, 2010 - 11:40 am ICT by ANI
Washington, Nov 30 (ANI): A new study has revealed that supplements derived from apple skins, red wine and tumeric might someday help slow the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s and related diseases.
In scientists’ view, a group of chemicals called type-2 alkenes, which are widespread in both the environment and the brains of Alzheimer’s patients, act as major drivers of the disease.
In turn, said chemical neurotoxicologist Richard LoPachin, neutraceuticals of the future could stop these brain-damaging chemicals in their tracks.
Already, LoPachin’s group has developed just such a compound that, in Petri dishes at least, sops up type-2 alkenes and protects nerves from harm.
“If you talk to someone else, they may tell you I’m nuts. We know that humans are pervasively exposed to type-2 alkenes, but nobody has ever considered the possibility that type-2 alkenes in the environment might be involved in Alzheimer’s. It’s a new theory of Alzheimer’s,” Discovery News quoted LoPachin, of the Montefiore Medical Center in Bronx, New York, as saying.
Alzheimer’s is a multi-faceted disease and efforts to understand it have followed a variety of paths. One line of research focuses on the endings of nerve cells in the brain, which degenerate as the disease progresses.
When that happens, communication among nuerons breaks down, leading to confusion, forgetfulness and other hallmark symptoms of Alzheimer’s.
While scientists disagree about what causes nerve-ending degeneration, studies have clearly shown that the progression of the disease itself produces type-2 alkenes in the brain.
Chemicals in this group, such as acrylamide and methylvinyl ketone, also show up in car exhaust, cigarette smoke, industrial settings, even French fries.
Exposure to type-2 alkenes in the environment has already been linked with cancer, heart disease, and other problems. For Alzheimer’s patients, LoPachin argues, the double whammy of exposure from both within the brain and from out in the environment could accelerate the onset and progression of the disease.
As evidence, he points to studies showing that Alzheimer’s patients have large amounts of type-2 alkenes in their brains. The chemicals appear to selectively target the ends of nerve cells, which are highly vulnerable to damage. And cigarette smoking increases the risk of Alzheimer’s by more than 150 percent, possibly because of the type-2 alkenes in tobacco smoke.
If LoPachin is right, then mopping up type-2 alkenes in the brain should help fight Alzheimer’s as well as other problems, such as Parkinson’s, spinal cord injuries, and strokes.
In a new paper, LoPachin and colleagues report the development of just such an antidote.
The researchers drew inspiration from a group of well-studied chemicals made by some plants, including resveratrol in grapes, curcumin in tumeric, and phloretin in apple skins.
These compounds, which are all similar in chemical structure, have promising characteristics, but the human body does not easily absorb them, and they can be toxic at very high doses.
Instead, the researchers used the structure of these natural plant compounds to develop a new chemical, called 2-ACP.
In the lab studies, 2-ACP latched onto a type-2 alkene called acrolein and prevented the toxin from damaging nerve cells.
Years of testing — first in animals, then people — await the new molecule, LoPachin said. But he thinks the research is an important step in the battle against Alzheimer’s.
The study appears in the Journal of Neurochemistry. (ANI)
- Chemicals in cigarettes, French fries 'can increase Alzheimer's risk' - Nov 18, 2010
- Study suggests another avenue for detecting Alzheimer's - Apr 02, 2011
- Second molecule in Alzheimer's toxic duo identified - Feb 04, 2011
- New discovery shows promise against Parkinson's, Alzheimer's - Dec 08, 2010
- Scientists produce compound that may treat Parkinson's disease - Feb 12, 2011
- New gene could explain relationship between diabetes, Alzheimer's - Oct 13, 2010
- Grape seed extracts could protect against Alzheimer's - Jul 16, 2011
- Junk food could also damage brain, says study - Aug 30, 2012
- Potential new target for Alzheimer's treatment identified - Jun 11, 2010
- Novel study offers hope for new class of Alzheimer's drugs - Oct 19, 2010
- Potent new vaccine found effective against Alzheimer's - Jun 08, 2012
- Novel radiotracer raises hopes of easy Alzheimer's diagnosis - Jun 25, 2010
- Scientists isolate gene that protects against Alzheimer's - Jul 13, 2012
- UAE leader meets scientists - Jan 31, 2012
- This substance tricks brain to ease Parkinson's - Apr 21, 2011
Tags: acrylamide, alkenes, apple skins, brain chemicals, car exhaust, cigarette smoke, discovery news, double whammy, fight alzheimer, french fries, hallmark symptoms, industrial settings, montefiore medical center, multi faceted, nerve cells, neutraceuticals, nuerons, petri dishes, red wine, sops