Caffeine Against Alzheimer’s Disease

 

Caffeine Has Positive Effect On Tau Deposits In Alzheimer’s

As part of a German-French research project, a team led by  Dr. Christa E. Müller from the University of Bonn and Dr. David Blum from the University of Lille was able to demonstrate for the first time that caffeine has a positive effect on tau deposits in Alzheimer’s disease. The two-years project was supported with 30,000 Euro from the non-profit Alzheimer Forschung Initiative e.V. (AFI) and with 50,000 Euro from the French Partner organization LECMA. The initial results were published in the online edition of the journal “Neurobiology of Aging.”

Tau deposits, along with beta-amyloid plaques, are among the characteristic features of Alzheimer’s disease. These protein deposits disrupt the communication of the nerve cells in the brain and contribute to their degeneration. Despite intensive research there is no drug available to date  which can prevent this detrimental process. Based on  the results of Prof. Dr. Christa Müller from the University of Bonn, Dr. David Blum and their team, a new class of drugs may now be developed for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

Caffeine, an adenosine receptor antagonist, blocks various receptors in the brain which are activated by adenosine. Initial results of the team of researchers had already indicated that the blockade of the adenosine receptor subtype A2A in particular could play an important role. Initially, Prof. Müller and her colleagues developed an A2A antagonist in ultrapure and water-soluble form (designated MSX-3). This compound had fewer adverse effects than caffeine since it only blocks only the A2A adenosine receptor subtype, and at the same time it is significantly more effective. Over several weeks, the researchers then treated genetically altered mice with the A2A antagonist. The mice had an altered tau protein which, without therapy, leads to the early development of Alzheimer’s symptoms.

In comparison to a control group which only received a placebo, the treated animals achieved significantly better results on memory tests. The A2A antagonist displayed positive effects in particular on spatial memory. Also, an amelioration of the pathogenic processes was demonstrated in the hippocampus, which is the site of memory in rodents.

“We have taken a good step forward,” says Prof. Müller. “The results of the study are truly promising, since we were able to show for the first time that A2A adenosine receptor antagonists actually have very positive effects in an animal model simulating hallmark characteristics and progression of  the disease. And the adverse effects are minor.”

The researchers now want to test the A2A antagonist in additional animal models. If the results are positive, a clinical study may follow. “Patience is required until A2A adenosine receptor antagonists are approved as new therapeutic agents for Alzheimer’s disease. But I am optimistic that clinical studies will be performed,” says Prof. Müller.

Attached files

  • Characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease: The tau protein. (c) Photo: Alzheimer Forschung Initiative e.V.

 

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Antioxidant Therapies May Help Fight Against Neurodegenerative Diseases

Nutrition News Dancing With Antioxidants Cover

A new review examines the potential of antioxidant approaches for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and multiple sclerosis.

Certain compounds that are involved in oxidative stress look like promising therapeutic targets. Researchers are investigating the potential of increasing antioxidant capacity by targeting what’s known as the Nrf2 pathway, as well as developing inhibitors of NADPH oxidases, which are key sources of reactive oxygen species. Other potential strategies for limiting oxidative stress in neurodegenerative diseases include reducing the production of nitric oxide, or preventing mitochondrial dysfunction.

“There are still several gaps in our understanding of the basis of oxidative damage in neurodegenerative disorders; however, it is increasingly accepted that many diseases share common pathways of oxidative stress-related damage, and it’s likely that significant progress will be made in the design and implementation of effective therapeutic strategies in the next few years,” said Dr. Gethin McBean, lead author of the British Journal of Pharmacology review.

 

Eating More Whole Grains Linked With Lower Death Risk

Nutrition News Great Grains Cover

The American Heart Association recommends a heart-healthy dietary pattern emphasizing fruits, vegetables, whole grains and other nutritious foods and specifically that at least half of grain consumption should be whole grains. Whole grains provide many nutrients, such as fiber, B vitamins, and minerals, which are removed during the refining process.

Eating more whole grains linked with lower risk of death

DALLAS, June 13, 2016 — Eating at least three servings of whole grains every day could lower your risk of death, according to new research in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation.

Although dietary guidelines around the world have included whole grains as an essential component of healthy eating patterns, people aren’t eating enough, according to the analysis. In the United States average consumption remains below one serving a day, despite the long-time recommendation of three servings a day.

In the first meta-analysis review of studies reporting associations between whole grain consumption and death, researchers noted that for about every serving (16 grams) of whole grains there was a:

  • 7 percent decreased risk in total deaths;
  • 9 percent decline in cardiovascular disease-related deaths; and
  • 5 percent decline in cancer-related deaths.

The more whole grains consumed, the lower the death rate. According to researchers, when three servings (48 grams) were consumed daily the rates declined:

  • 20 percent for total deaths;
  • 25 percent for cardiovascular deaths; and
  • 14 percent for cancer-related deaths.

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Full bibliographic information Whole Grain Intake and Mortality From All Causes, Cardiovascular Disease, and Cancer A Meta-Analysis of Prospective Cohort Studies (DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.115.021101.)

A Pomegranate Drug To Stem Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s

PomegranateIt looks like the pomegranate promoters are about to be vindicated. Pomegranate contains punicalagin, which is a polyphenol – a form of chemical compound that can inhibit inflammation in specialized brain cells known as micrologia.  This inflammation leads to the destruction of more and more brain cells, making the condition of Alzheimer’s sufferers progressively worse. 

 

Research underway to create pomegranate drug to stem Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s

22 August 2014 Huddersfield, The University of

Dr Olumayokun Olajide’s research will look to produce compound derivatives of punicalagin for a drug that would treat neuro-inflammation and slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease

THE onset of Alzheimer’s disease can be slowed and some of its symptoms curbed by a natural compound that is found in pomegranate.  Also, the painful inflammation that accompanies illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis and Parkinson’s disease could be reduced, according to the findings of a two-year project headed by University of Huddersfield scientist Dr Olumayokun Olajide, who specialises in the anti-inflammatory properties of natural products.

Now, a new phase of research can explore the development of drugs that will stem the development of dementias such as Alzheimer’s, which affects some 800,000 people in the UK, with 163,000 new cases a year being diagnosed.  Globally, there are at least 44.4 million dementia sufferers, with the numbers expected to soar.

The key breakthrough by Dr Olajide and his co-researchers is to demonstrate that punicalagin, which is a polyphenol – a form of chemical compound – found in pomegranate fruit, can inhibit inflammation in specialised brain cells known as micrologia.  This inflammation leads to the destruction of more and more brain cells, making the condition of Alzheimer’s sufferers progressively worse.

There is still no cure for the disease, but the punicalagin in pomegranate could prevent it or slow down its development.

Dr Olajide worked with co-researchers – including four PhD students – in the University of Huddersfield’s Department of Pharmacy and with scientists at the University of Freiburg in Germany.  The team used brain cells isolated from rats in order to test their findings.  Now the research is published in the latest edition of the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research and Dr Olajide will start to disseminate his findings at academic conferences.

He is still working on the amounts of pomegranate that are required, in order to be effective.

“But we do know that regular intake and regular consumption of pomegranate has a lot of health benefits – including prevention of neuro-inflammation related to dementia,” he says,  recommending juice products  that are 100 per cent pomegranate, meaning that approximately 3.4 per cent will be punicalagin, the compound that slows down the progression of dementia.

Dr Olajide states that most of the anti-oxidant compounds are found in the outer skin of the pomegranate, not in the soft part of the fruit.  And he adds that although this has yet to be scientifically evaluated, pomegranate will be useful in any condition for which inflammation – not just neuro-inflammation – is a factor, such as rheumatoid arthritis, Parkinson’s and cancer.

The research continues and now Dr Olajide is collaborating with his University of Huddersfield colleague, the organic chemist Dr Karl Hemming.  They will attempt to produce compound derivatives of punicalagin that could the basis of new, orally administered drugs that would treat neuro-inflammation.

Dr Olajide has been a Senior Lecturer at the University of Huddersfield for four years.  His academic career includes a post as a Humboldt Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Centre for Drug Research at the University of Munich.  His PhD was awarded from the University of Ibadan in his native Nigeria, after an investigation of the anti-inflammatory properties of natural products.

He attributes this area of research to his upbringing.  “African mothers normally treat sick children with natural substances such as herbs.  My mum certainly used a lot of those substances.  And then I went on to study pharmacology!”

The article “Punicalagin inhibits neuroinflammation in LPS-activated rat primary microglia”, by A. Olumayokun A. Olajide, Asit Kumar, Ravikanth Velagapudi, Uchechukwu P. Okorji and Bernd L. Fiebich is published by Molecular Nutrition & Food Research.

Challenging The Myth Of Alzheimer’s

Journal of Intergenerational Relationships Presents

a New Approach to Cognitive Aging

 

30 July 2013 Taylor & Francis

 

miss marple was not an alzheimer's candidateIs treating Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and other Aging Associated Cognitive Challenges (AACC) through medical models really the most effective response to diagnoses?

In the article “The Challenges of Cognitive Aging: Integrating Approaches from Neuroscience to Intergenerational Relationships,” published in the Journal of Intergenerational Relationships, author Peter Whitehouse suggests a more socially-based approach to treating Alzheimer’s and other cognitive disorders.

“Our modern world is challenged by aging demographics, global climate change, political unrest, and economic instability,” says Whitehouse. “Intergenerational approaches to learning and health can foster the kind of long-term intergenerative thinking and valuing that is necessary for human flourishing and even survival in these difficult times. The answers to the challenges of chronic diseases like dementia will not be found in reductionist molecular biology and genetics, but in the redesign of our communities to serve elders, children, and the environment more effectively.”

To demonstrate how intergenerational relationships can assist in addressing some of the social issues that accompany AD and ACCC , Dr. Whitehouse first challenges what he calls the “myth of Alzheimer’s,” or how the new diagnostic criteria for AD and related conditions reveal the limits of medicalization.

Then he details the role of, “The Intergenerational School,” a high performing, public charter school in Ohio that provides learning opportunities for 200 elementary school children and hundreds of adults, some of whom have dementia.

“The school is an intergenerative learning organization built around principles of social construction, educational excellence, lifelong experiential and service learning, and participation in social and political life,” says Whitehouse. Its mission is to create a community that guides individuals in learning the skills and gaining experiences that foster lifelong learning and spirited citizenship.

Sally Newman, Editor of the Journal of Intergenerational Relationship, notes that Whitehouse’s article advances several ideas that prompt further discussion by readers.

“It challenges the notion of Alzheimer’s disease as a disease, and suggests that dementia and cognitive impairments across the lifespan are the biggest challenges to intergenerational relationships, especially when linked to the increasing economic and ecological challenges facing the next generations of human beings.”

Whitehouse’s research is co-published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

The article is currently available for free online access on the journal’s website. Click here to download a PDF or text version. For more information about the Journal of Intergenerational Relationships, and to view the latest table of contents, visit www.tandfonline.com/wjir.

The Journal of Intergenerational Relationships is the forum for scholars, practitioners, policy makers, educators, and advocates to stay abreast of the latest intergenerational research, practice methods and policy initiatives. This is the only journal focusing on the intergenerational field integrating practical, theoretical, empirical, familial, and policy perspectives.

 

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15350770.2013.782740

Full bibliographic information The Challenges of Cognitive Aging: Integrating Approaches from Neuroscience to Intergenerational Relationships
Peter Whitehouse MD Ph
Journal of Intergenerational Relationships
Volume 11, Issue 2, 2013
DOI: 10.1080/15350770.2013.782740

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