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Natural Product Based Alzheimer Inhibitor

  • 30 Apr 2020
  • 2 min read

Why in News

Scientists from Jawaharlal Nehru Centre For Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) have modified the structure of Berberine into Ber-D to use as an Alzheimer's inhibitor.

  • JNCASR is an autonomous institute under the Department of Science & Technology (DST), Govt. of India.
  • Berberine is a chemical found in several plants. It is a natural and cheap product similar to curcumin (a substance in turmeric). It is found in India and China and used in traditional medicine and other applications.

Key Points

  • Berberine is poorly soluble and toxic to cells. So scientists modified berberine to Ber-D, which is a soluble (aqueous), antioxidant. They found it to be a multifunctional inhibitor of multifaceted amyloid toxicity of Alzheimer’s disease.
    • Amyloid is a protein that is deposited in the liver, kidneys, spleen, or other tissues in certain diseases.
    • In case of Alzheimer’s disease, Amyloid beta (Aβ) accumulates in the brain.
  • Ber-D inhibits aggregations of metal-dependent and -independent Amyloid beta (Aβ). Further, Ber-D treatment averts mitochondrial dysfunction and corresponding neuronal toxicity contributing to premature apoptosis (cell death).
  • These multifunctional attributes make Ber-D a promising candidate for developing effective therapeutics to treat multifaceted toxicity of Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s disease

  • Alzheimer's disease is a progressive disorder that causes brain cells to waste away (degenerate) and die.
  • It is the most prevalent neurodegenerative disorder and accounts for more than 70% of all dementia.
    • Dementia is an overall term for diseases and conditions characterized by a decline in memory, language, problem-solving and other thinking skills that affect a person's ability to perform everyday activities.
    • Memory loss is an example.

Source : PIB

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