Nature provides us with a wide variation of beautiful medicinal plants that are used in different cultures for health support and disease treatment. Whether the plants could also be used to treat the uncurable Alzheimer’s disease remains poor investigated.
Alzheimer’s disease leads to the accumulation of toxic proteins (amyloid-beta and tau) in the brain that disturb the neurons to do their job, leading to their unability to cope with oxidative stress and therefore facilitating the disease progression. A recent study investigated whether this neurotoxicity could be prevented by using medicinal butterfly pea plant (Clitoria ternatea) due to its strong antioxidant properties.
The researchers extracted and isolated ultra-stable cyclic peptides, the cyclotides, from the plant and tested them on the worms (C. elegans) to observe an impact of cyclotides on their neuron function. The worms were chosen as they turned to be an excellent model because of their conserved gene function, short life cycle and traceability of experiment results.
The experiments showed that the cyclotides from the plant protected the neurons against the amyloid-beta accumulation. The worms which fed on the cyclotides showed significantly less symptoms than the ones that did not.
The researchers are very excited about the results and believe that the cyclotides from the butterfly pea plants could become a natural therapeutic solution not only for Alzheimer’s but also for other neurodegenerative diseases.
Curious? HERE is the source