Health News

African plant extract could treat Alzheimer's disease

Researchers have found that a plant extract used for centuries in traditional medicine in Nigeria could form the basis for a drug to trat Alzheimer's.

Published: 22nd June 2017 11:31 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th December 2017 03:55 PM   |  A+A-

Carpolobia lutea

Carpolobia lutea

By IANS

London: Raising hope for a novel treatment for Alzheimer's disease, researchers have found that a plant extract used for centuries in traditional medicine in Nigeria could form the basis of a new drug to treat the progressive brain disorder that impairs memory.

The study, published in the journal Pharmaceutical Biology, has shown that the extract taken from the leaves, stem and roots of Carpolobia lutea could help to protect chemical messengers in the brain which play a vital role in functions, including memory and learning.

The tree extract could pave the way for new drugs to tackle patient symptoms but without the unwanted side-effects associated with some current treatments, the study said. 

"As a population we are living longer, and the number of people with dementia is growing at an alarming rate. Our findings suggest that traditional medicines will provide new chemicals able to temper Alzheimer's disease progression," said lead researcher Wayne Carter from University of Nottingham in Britain. 

Carpolobia lutea, known more commonly as cattle stick, is a small shrub found native to Central and West Africa. Herbalists in Nigerian tribes use the essence of the root as an aphrodisiac and the treatment of genitourinary infections, gingivitis, and waist pains.

In patients with Alzheimer's disease and other diseases such as Parkinson's disease and myasthenia gravis, the activity of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine is reduced, leading to problems with memory and attention.

The researchers found that the Carpolobia lutea plant was highly effective in preventing the breakdown of acetylcholine and also had other beneficial antioxidant properties in fighting free radicals -- the unstable atoms that can cause damage to cells and contribute to ageing and disease, that may be exacerbated in Alzheimer's disease.
 

Stay up to date on all the latest Health news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.