A compound found in green tea and voluntary exercise slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and may even reverse its effects, a new research has found.
According to the researchers, the green tea extract, epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which was found effective in mice could lead to advancements in the treatment and prevention of Alzheimer’s in humans too.
“In Alzheimer’s patients, amyloid-beta peptide (A-beta) can accumulate and clump together causing amyloid plaques in the brain,” said Todd Schachtman, professor of psychological sciences in the College of Arts and Science at University of Missouri.
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,” Schachtman noted.
The researchers decided to investigate the effects of voluntary exercise and EGCG on memory function and A-beta levels in mice known to show plaque deposits and behaviour deficits.
Researchers administered EGCG in the drinking water of the mice and gave them access to running or exercise wheels.
The researchers found remarkable improvements in the cognitive function and retention in the Alzheimer’s affected mice that were given EGCG and were allowed to exercise.
“Oral administration of the extract, as well as voluntary exercise, improved some of the behavioural manifestations and cognitive impairments of Alzheimer’s,” Grace Sun, professor emerita of biochemistry at MU, noted.
The findings appeared in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.