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Antioxidants may slow progression of Alzheimer's

old dude

Antioxidants slow down oxidative stress. This is true for fruit: squeeze a lemon on an apple slice and it stays fresh. And it may be true for the brain during the early phase of Alzheimer’s disease. The oxidative stress on the brain may be due to the improper processing of a protein associated with the creation of free radicals.

A study from the University of Georgia College of Pharmacy has shown that an antioxidant can delay some indicators of Alzheimer’s, including cognitive decline. For this study, mice were given Alzheimer’s through genetic alteration then administered an antioxidant called MitoQ. They were then tested for cognitive impairment. The mice that had received MitoQ performed significantly better than those that did not. The mice also tested negative for oxidative stress, amyloid burden, neural death and synaptic loss which are all symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s.

Oxidative stress is believed to bring about the death of neurons which may result in Alzheimer’s disease. “The brain consumes 20% of the oxygen in the body even thought it only make up 5% of the volum, so it’s particularly susceptible to oxidative stress,” said study author James Franklin, an associate professor of pharmaceutical and biomedical sciences.

Other studies regarding antioxidants have been inconclusive. For this study, Franklin and his team administered the MitoQ in high concentration into the mitochondria of cells. “It is more effective for the treatment to go straight to the mitochondria, rather than being present in the cell in general,” said Meagan McManus, PhD, and coauthor.

Currently, 5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s disease. By 2050, that number could triple accounting for more than $1 trillion dollars in healthcare costs per year.

Source: Journal of NeuroScience, MedicalNewsToday

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