Good news for the Green Tea and Wine drinkers! These two products contain chemicals that help fighting the impact of Alzheimers. They do so by disrupting a key step in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
Findings were published in Journal of Biological Chemistry.
The key to Alzheimer’s advance is the formation of Amyloid balls – a protein – which stick to the nerve cell surface called prions.
Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by a distinct build-up of amyloid protein in the brain, which clumps together to form toxic, sticky balls of varying shapes. These amyloid balls latch onto the surface of nerve cells in the brain by attaching to proteins on the cell surface called prions, causing the nerve cells to malfunction and eventually die.
“We wanted to investigate whether the precise shape of the amyloid balls is essential for them to attach to the prion receptors, like the way a baseball fits snugly into its glove,” says co-author Jo Rushworth. “And if so, we wanted to see if we could prevent the amyloid balls binding to prion by altering their shape, as this would stop the cells from dying.”
The team formed amyloid balls in a test tube and added them to human and animal brain cells. “When we added the extracts from red wine and green tea, which recent research has shown to re-shape amyloid proteins, the amyloid balls no longer harmed the nerve cells,” says Hooper. “We saw that this was because their shape was distorted, so they could no longer bind to prion and disrupt cell function.
When the Red Wine and Green Tea chemicals stop the amyloid proteins to stick to the prion cell surface, they also stop a self propagating process cycle. As amyloid proteins stick to prions, more amyloid ball production is triggered as well.
“We also showed, for the first time, that when amyloid balls stick to prion, it triggers the production of even more amyloid, in a deadly vicious cycle,” he adds.
This could help the doctors in future to combat Alzheimers more effectively.