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Published on: May 6, 2015
by University Herald:
New research suggests that drinking green tea and exercise could slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia found that a compound found in green tea, and voluntary exercise could hinder the progress of Alzheimer’s disease. They also found that the extract could lead to advancements in the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s disease in humans.
“In Alzheimer’s patients, amyloid-beta peptide (A-beta) can accumulate and clump together causing amyloid plaques in the brain,” researcher Todd Schachtman said in a statement. “Symptoms can include increased memory loss and confusion, agitation and a lack of concern for your environment and surroundings. We looked at ways of preventing or postponing the onset of the disease which we hope can eventually lead to an improvement of health status and quality of life for the elderly.”
Recent studies have suggested the benefits of dietary antioxidants in reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Based on previous research conducted at Mizzou, researchers decided to investigate the effects of voluntary exercise and epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a green tea extract, on memory function and A-beta levels in mice known to show plaque deposits and behavior deficits.
“Mice exhibiting symptoms of the disease had nests that were poorly formed or erratic,” Schachtman said. “Further, we found that mice with Alzheimer’s symptoms, much like people, can be apathetic about their habitat, or have forgotten how to ‘nest’ appropriately.”
Researchers said future studies of green tea extracts and other botanicals, also known as nutraceuticals, are being explored at MU and through collaborations with other international institutions.
The findings are detailed in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.
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