Green Tea Chemical Could Cure Brain Disorders

3 December 2009 (Last Updated December 3rd, 2009 18:30)

Scientists from the Boston Biomedical Research Institute (BBRI) and the University of Pennsylvania have discovered that the green tea component EGCG, can be used to prevent and destroy the primary cause of brain disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. Researchers found that two chemicals

Scientists from the Boston Biomedical Research Institute (BBRI) and the University of Pennsylvania have discovered that the green tea component EGCG, can be used to prevent and destroy the primary cause of brain disorders such as Alzheimer's disease.

Researchers found that two chemicals, one of which is EGCG, could prevent and destroy a variety of protein structures known as amyloids, the primary culprits in fatal brain disorders such as Alzheimer's, Huntington's and Parkinson's diseases.

The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine study co-leader James Shorter said that these findings were significant because it is the first time that a combination of specific chemicals had successfully destroyed diverse forms of amyloids at the same time.

Finding a way to prevent the formation of, and to break up and destroy, amyloid plaques in the brain and nervous system of people with brain disorders has been a major target of neurological research.

To date, however, researchers have had no success in destroying plaques in the human brain and only minimal success in the laboratory.

During the study, the researchers studied the impact of these two chemicals on the production of different amyloids produced by the yeast amyloid protein known as PSI+.

The researchers found that EGCG effectively dissolved the amyloids in the weaker version and also found that the stronger amyloids were not dissolved and that some transformed to even stronger versions after exposure to EGCG.

The team then exposed the yeast amyloid structures to a combination of the EGCG and the DAPH-12 and found that all of the amyloid structures broke apart and dissolved.