Home >Science >Health >Indian scientists identify possible cause of Alzheimer’s disease

NEW DELHI : Indian scientists have found a possible cause of Alzheimer's disease, a progressive brain disorder that destroys memory and other important mental functions.

Researchers from National Brain Research Centre (NBRC) and All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in a clinical study have found that a protective molecule in brain called Glutathione that neutralizes the effect of oxidative stress in brain, a contributor to Alzheimer's disease, gets depleted. The study is also published in the Human Brain Mapping Journal in its latest issue.

The scientists have said that depletion of a form of Glutathione called as good Glutathione in some parts of the brain might be a possible cause of the Alzheimer's disease. “Now it is shown by state-of-the-art imaging technique from the Alzheimer's patients’ brain only one form of Glutathione (good Glutathione) is capable of protecting the brain from Oxidative stress and possibly prevent Alzheimer's disease," said Lead scientist Pravat Mandal at NBRC.

“A form of Glutathione is dependent on the brain environment, which in turn, especially of elderly is dependent upon stress coming from various sources. Elderly face various factors of stress such as sudden loss of family or friend, job, retirement, financial loss, non-congenial irritating family environment and heavy pollution etc. With such an environment the amount of good Glutathione gets depleted," he said.

The study was done on over 100 Alzheimer's disease patients from All India Institute of Medical sciences (AIIMS). Other scientists involved in the research were Manjari Tripathi and Deepika Shukla. The scientists are also planning to further scale up the research and measure the Glutathione in people of different ages.

“This critical information prompted to perform for the next stage for Clinical trial using glutathione in the patients with mild cognitive impairment. We are waiting for some funding from the government agency," said Mandal.

“With the research, we can interpret that various persons of the same age may have variable amount of good glutathione level based on their brain microenvironment. We are measuring this glutathione level by brain imaging," he said.

India has the third largest community of persons suffering from Dementia in the world at about 45 lakh people. Dementia is a disorder of the brain affecting memory and language skills in elderly people.

Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common type of Dementia and about 5-6% of people in the age group of 65-70 years in India suffer from this problem.

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