Hibiscus substance could alleviate Alzheimer’s disease

By studying immune cells in the brain (microglia), a research team discovered that gosipetin inhibits the activity of genes that promote chronic inflammatory reactions. It also promotes the cells’ ability to remove waste products from their environment.

In experiments with mice suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, gosipetin was able to stimulate these cells to break down the clumped structures in the brain that are typical of Alzheimer’s disease. This improved the mental fitness of the animals, the scientists report in the journal “Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy”: Treatment with gosipetin for three months made the mice’s memory so busy that it almost reached normal levels again. At the same time, beta-amyloid deposits had decreased significantly. Based on their results, the researchers hope that hibiscus gosipetin will contribute to the development of a safe and affordable drug for people with Alzheimer’s.

In Alzheimer’s disease, beta-amyloid and tau proteins are deposited in brain tissue. Microglia collect these clumps to protect the brain. However, if this happens constantly in large numbers, the cells will eventually run out. This leads to a chronic inflammatory response and nerve cell damage, resulting in mental decline.

What: DOI 10.1186/s13195-022-01096-3

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