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Flavonoids May Help Treat Alzheimer's
Date:5/9/2008

Compounds found in fruits and vegetables reduced brain plaques in mouse experiments

FRIDAY, May 9 (HealthDay News) -- Flavonoids, compounds found in many fruits and vegetables, may be able to battle the ravages of Alzheimer's disease, a new study suggests.

In experiments with mice, two flavonoids called luteolin and diosmin reduced levels of beta-amyloid, which forms the harmful plaques that build up in the brains of those with Alzheimer's disease.

"Our lab has been investigating beta-amyloid, which is associated with Alzheimer's, and how we can reduce it using natural compounds," said lead researcher Kavon Rezai-Zadeh, from the Rashid Laboratory for Developmental Neurobiology at Silver Child Development Center at the University of South Florida.

The research team would like to use the two flavonoids to see if they can reduce amyloid plaque in humans, since they believe flavonoids would be safe and have few side effects compared with drugs that are being developed to reduce amyloid plaque.

Rezai-Zadeh also thinks that flavonoids, which have strong antioxidant properties, might guard against Alzheimer's. "A lot of these compounds can be derived from the diet, and they may have preventive effects against Alzheimer's disease," he said. "Increasing the flavonoids in your diet may help reduce the risk of Alzheimer's."

"The question is, can we use these flavonoids in people that have cognitive impairment?" Rezai-Zadeh said. "That's the million-dollar question."

The report was published in the May 8 online edition of the Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine.

In the study, Rezai-Zadeh's team used a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease to test their theory. Using, luteolin and diosmin, the researchers were able to reduce the levels of beta-amyloid in the rodents' brains.

In addition, the researchers found these two molecules were targeting a protein called presen
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