Vitamin C May Have A Positive Effect On Alzheimer's

Researchers found that vitamin C can dissolve the toxic protein aggregates that build up in the brain in Alzheimer's disease.  The Lund University research finding is published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disease that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, and eventually even the ability to carry out the simplest tasks. About 5 percent of men and women ages 65 to 74 have Alzheimer's disease. It is estimated that nearly half of those age 85 and older may have the disease. It is estimated that as many as 5.1 million Americans have Alzheimer's disease, according to the CDC.

Individuals with Alzheimer's disease in their brains contain lumps of amyloid plaques which consist of bundle of proteins. The protein bundle causes nerve cell death in the brain and the first nerves to be attack are the ones in the brain's memory center.

"When we treated brain tissue from mice suffering from Alzheimer's disease with vitamin C, we could see that the toxic protein aggregates were dissolved. Our results show a previously unknown model for how vitamin C affects the amyloid plaques", said Katrin Mani, reader in Molecular Medicine at Lund University.

Currently there is no cure for Alzheimer's, but research is aimed to delay and alleviate the progression of the disease by addressing the symptoms through treatment. Antioxidants such as Vitamin C have been found to protect against various diseases from the common cold to heart attacks and dementia.

"The notion that vitamin C can have a positive effect on Alzheimer's disease is controversial, but our results open up new opportunities for research into Alzheimer's and the possibilities offered by vitamin C", said Mani.

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