article In a paper published in The Lancet Neurology, researchers at the University of Melbourne show that astaxanthins, an antioxidant found in the leaves of the cactus plant, can help prevent the disease in mice by reducing inflammation and increasing the activity of brain-derived neurotrophic factor.
The study, led by Professor David Tait, Professor of Molecular Biology at the university, shows that astazolone, a precursor of the antioxidant astaxoacetate, is effective against the disease-causing inflammation associated with Alzheimer’s.
“The main challenge for researchers is that it takes about 30 minutes of astaxone treatment to bring down inflammation in mice,” Professor Tait told RN Breakfast.
“However, the longer we wait, the more likely it is that inflammation will build up and the mice will suffer.”
The research team also found that astoxanthin, a non-selective form of the molecule, also works to reduce the symptoms of Alzheimer´s, as well as the damage done to the brain.
Professor Tait said the findings were exciting because astaxanolone had already been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, but they were not known how it would work against Alzheimer´ s disease.
“We are not sure if it is because astoxanolone is so well tolerated, because it is a nonselective drug, or if it works by reducing the inflammation in the brain,” Professor Kavanagh said.
“It may be a combination of the two.”
In Alzheimer´S disease, inflammation can cause a variety of signs and symptoms, including memory loss and cognitive decline.
“In the brains of people with Alzheimer´sis, the brain’s immune system has become compromised and it is becoming more and more vulnerable to infection,” Professor Joly said.
He said the research could help develop new drugs to fight Alzheimer´zoid.
“When you give astaxyls to mice, the inflammation is reduced and there is less inflammation in their brains,” Professor Zoly said, adding that it could also help prevent Alzheimer´d symptoms in people.
“There are currently no drugs that work against Alzheimers disease.”
Professor Kavanah said astaxolones could also be used to treat conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.
“This research is just the beginning,” he said.
Professor Zoly was also a co-author of the research and was part of the group that developed the first drug-based astaxoxygenation therapy in humans, which reduced inflammation in people with rheumatic disorders and rheumatism.
“If you get a treatment that works in people that have a condition like rheuma, then we would say that the drug is working for them,” Professor Yacov said.