By : Khawar Nehal
8 Nov 2013
Alzheimer's disease, shows tiny inclusions in the
nerve tissue, called plaques and tangles.
Plaques are found between the dying cells in the
brain - from the build-up of a protein called betaamyloid (you may hear the term "amyloid
The tangles are within the brain neurons - from a
disintegration of another protein, called tau.
Vocadlo and his colleagues describe how they’ve
used an inhibitor they’ve chemically created —
Thiamet-G — to stop O-GlcNAcase, a naturally
occurring enzyme, from depleting the protein Tau
of sugar molecules.
“The general thinking in science,” says Vocadlo,
“is that Tau stabilizes structures in the brain
called microtubules. They are kind of like
highways inside cells that allow cells to move
Research prior to Vocadlo’s has shown that
clumps of Tau from an Alzheimer brain have
almost none of this sugar attached to them, and
O-GlcNAcase is the enzyme that is robbing
Such clumping is an early event in the
development of Alzheimer’s and the number of
clumps correlate with the disease’s severity.
Slowing or preventing the development of
Alzheimer’s disease, a fatal brain condition
expected to hit one in 85 people globally by
2050, may be as simple as ensuring a brain
protein’s sugar levels are maintained.
There are many foods which are linked to
They are as follows :
Alzheimer’s is said to result from the deposit of
proteins called amyloid-beta protein peptides
that are produced as a result of genetic
mutations and eventually form plaques in the
brain. Many substances, including various food
products, are thought to block the buildup of
amyloid-beta peptides and have shown
promising results in studies using laboratory
Of the substances tested, those that showed
marginal blocking ability against amyloid-beta
peptides were ginger, blueberries, rhubarb,
turmeric, cinnamon and resveratrol.
Ginger or ginger root is the rhizome of the plant
Zingiber officinale, consumed as a delicacy,
medicine, or spice. It lends its name to its genus
and family (Zingiberaceae). Other notable
members of this plant family are turmeric,
cardamom, and galangal. The distantly related
dicots in the Asarum genus have the common
name wild ginger because of their similar taste.
Blueberries are perennial flowering plants with
indigo-colored berries from the section
Cyanococcus within the genus Vaccinium (a
genus that also includes cranberries and
bilberries). Species in the section Cyanococcus
are the most common fruits sold as "blueberries"
and are native to North America (commercially
cultivated highbush blueberries were not
introduced into Europe until the 1930s).
Rhubarb (Rheum rhabarbarum) is a species of
plant in the family Polygonaceae. They are
herbaceous perennials growing from short, thick
rhizomes. They have large leaves that are
somewhat triangular, with long fleshy petioles.
They have small flowers grouped in large
compound leafy greenish-white to rose-red
Turmeric (Curcuma longa) /ˈtɜrmərɪk/ is a
rhizomatous herbaceous perennial plant of the
ginger family, Zingiberaceae. It is native to
tropical Indian Subcontinent and needs
temperatures between 20 °C and 30 °C (68 °F
and 86 °F) and a considerable amount of annual
rainfall to thrive. Plants are gathered annually for
their rhizomes, and propagated from some of
those rhizomes in the following season.
Cinnamon (/ˈsɪnəmən/ SIN-ə-mən) is a spice
obtained from the inner bark of several trees
from the genus Cinnamomum that is used in
both sweet and savoury foods. While
Cinnamomum verum is sometimes considered to
be "true cinnamon", most cinnamon in
international commerce is derived from related
species, which are also referred to as "cassia" to
distinguish them from "true cinnamon".
Resveratrol (3,5,4'-trihydroxy-trans-stilbene) is a
stilbenoid, a type of natural phenol, and a
phytoalexin produced naturally by several plants
– especially the roots of the Japanese
Knotweed, from which it is extracted
commercially – when under attack by pathogens
such as bacteria or fungi.
In grapes, trans-resveratrol is a phytoalexin
produced against the growth of fungal pathogens
such as Botrytis cinerea. Its presence in Vitis
vinifera grapes can also be constitutive, with
accumulation in ripe berries of different levels of
bound and free resveratrols, according to the
In grapes, resveratrol is found primarily in the
skin, and, in muscadine grapes, also in the
seeds. The amount found in grape skins also
varies with the grape cultivar, its geographic
origin, and exposure to fungal infection.
It is also found in Pinus strobus, the eastern
Pinus strobus, commonly known as the eastern
white pine, white pine, northern white pine,
Weymouth pine, and soft pine is a large pine
native to eastern North America. It occurs from
Newfoundland west through the Great Lakes
region to southeastern Manitoba and Minnesota,
and south along the Mississippi Basin and
Appalachian Mountains to northernmost Georgia