The researchers found that when the amyloid balls stick to the brain cells’ prion proteins, even more amyloid was produced, making for a deadly vicious cycle. Wondering if altering the shape of the amyloid balls would affect their ability to attach to the prion proteins, they formed amyloid balls in a test tube and tested them on animal brain cells. Previous research showed the ability of EGCG extracts from green tea and red wine to re-shape amyloid proteins. When EGCG was added to the mixture of amyloid balls, the amyloid balls no longer harmed the brain cells. The shape of the amyloid balls was distorted so that they could not bind to the prion proteins and cause cellular malfunction and death.
This research offers hope for developing preventative treatments for Alzheimer’s disease for which there is currently no effective treatment. Quoting Professor Hooper, “This is an important step in increasing our understanding of the cause and progression of Alzheimer's disease. It's a misconception that Alzheimer's is a natural part of aging; it's a disease that we believe can ultimately be cured through finding new opportunities for drug targets like this.”
It is too early to state that drinking green tea or red wine can prevent Alzheimer’s disease. However, there are several other researched measures that help lessen the risk of developing the disease.
The May 2, 2012 edition of Neurology stated that consuming omega-3 fatty acids reduce the production of ß-amyloid proteins by 37%. The
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