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Hydrangea compound inhibits buildup of Alzheimer's-associated protein

Date: 28.7.2023 

Much recent research has concentrated on developing treatments to slow or reverse Alzheimer’s disease (AD). With studies suggesting a link between brain plaques caused by the aggregation of amyloid beta protein and cognitive decline, many potential treatments have focused on addressing this particular brain pathology.

Kredit: Jana Hejlová, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0.Now, researchers from Sahmyook University, South Korea, have found that a naturally occurring substance found in hydrangea leaves shows great promise in treating the amyloid beta plaques thought to contribute to AD.

The substance in question is phyllodulcin, found in the Hydrangea macrophylla. Dried hydrangea leaves are commonly used in Asian countries to make medicinal tea, and phyllodulcin is known for being a potent natural sweetener, 400 to 800 times sweeter than sucrose. In addition, recent studies have shown that phyllodulcin can cross the blood-brain barrier and may inhibit amyloid beta protein aggregation in the brain.

To test their hypothesis, the researchers used mice that had been genetically modified to develop amyloid plaques that model AD. They gave the mice phyllodulcin or a control substance orally once every three days for a month. After that, they tested the animals’ learning and memory before their brain tissue was analyzed.

They found that phyllodulcin inhibited amyloid beta aggregation and broke down existing aggregations. They also found that the extract reduced amyloid beta-related neurotoxicity and alleviated memory impairment, which the researchers attributed to a reduction in aggregates.

Image source: Jana Hejlová, Wikimedia CommonsCC BY-SA 3.0.




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