A molecule contained in tea can prevent the formation of plaques characteristic of Alzheimer’s and destroy them are the results from a study conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan and published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The molecule studied by the team is called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a powerful antioxidant that in laboratory experiments on tissues has shown to prevent aggregation or disintegrate (when aggregation has already occurred) the protein constituent of the plaques.
The research team said, “We want to modify this protein so that it interferes directly in the brain with the plaques associated with Alzheimer.”
Robert Malinow noted that the Amyloid Beta peptide that accumulates in the brains of persons with Alzheimer’s disease weakens synaptic connections in a manner similar to the way in which they were stimulated in rats. “Since our work – said the researcher – demonstrates that we can reverse the processes that weaken synapses, we could potentially counteract some of the effects of beta-amyloid in Alzheimer’s patients.”