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Natural antioxidants in Alzheimer's disease

Dec 11, 2007

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder (or consistently worsening brain degeneration) characterized by severe cognitive impairment that ultimately leads to death. Current drugs used for the disease may only slightly improve cognitive functions but have only very limited impact on the course of the disease; they do not have a protective effect in the brain slowing the clinical course of the disease. In the past several years based on various types of studies including cellular studies and animal studies, natural antioxidants including Resveratrol, Curcumin (Turmeric), and Acetyl-L-Carnitine have been proposed as alternative therapeutic agents for AD. Acetyl-L-Carnitine reduces or blocks neuronal death (the nerve cells of the brain) that occurs, meaning Acetyl-L-Carnitine and other antioxidants have a protective effect. Other protective benefits beyond an antioxidant effect are likely also occurring with these nutrients. Targeting the mitochondria like Acetyl-L-Carnitine does should result in effectively slowing disease progression. Other mitochondrial acting antioxidants should prove helpful.

Some of the research institutions that cooperated to form this expert opinion include;

  • Catholic University School of Medicine
  • Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • University of Nottingham School of Biomedical sciences
  • University of Kentucky Department of Chemistry
The study is published in the December 2007 issue of the journal Expert Opinion on Investigational Drugs