They’re not most people’s favourite part of Christmas dinner but Brussels sprouts have provided the inspiration for an anti-Alzheimer’s drug.
Scientists have developed a medication with ‘very good potential’ for stopping the breakdown of nerves and brain cells that may lead to the disease.
The drug is made up of ‘supercharged’ vitamin A, which is found in vegetables like sprouts and carrots.
When broken down by the body, vitamin A turns into a chemical called retinoic acid, which is crucial for the development of the nervous system.
After a two-year £250,000 project to develop vitamin A synthetically, experts hope they are one step closer to treating Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and motor neurone disease.
Researchers at Aberdeen and Durham universities have reported their progress in the ongoing research project.
‘We are moving forward with a new therapeutic which could be used to help people with Alzheimer’s disease,’ said lead author Professor Peter McCaffery, who researches vitamin A at Aberdeen university, said.
‘Our work is still at an early stage but we believe this is a positive development and the new drugs seem to protect nerve cells.
24 December 2018