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Treatment with vitamin C dissolves toxic protein aggregates in Alzheimer's disease

Date:
August 18, 2011
Source:
Lund University
Summary:
Researchers in Sweden have discovered a new function for vitamin C. Treatment with vitamin C can dissolve the toxic protein aggregates that build up in the brain in Alzheimer's disease.

Researchers at Lund University have discovered a new function for vitamin C. Treatment with vitamin C can dissolve the toxic protein aggregates that build up in the brain in Alzheimer's disease.

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The research findings are now being presented in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

The brains of people with Alzheimer's disease contain lumps of so-called amyloid plaques which consist of misfolded protein aggregates. They cause nerve cell death in the brain and the first nerves to be attacked are the ones in the brain's memory centre.

"When we treated brain tissue from mice suffering from Alzheimer's disease with vitamin C, we could see that the toxic protein aggregates were dissolved. Our results show a previously unknown model for how vitamin C affects the amyloid plaques," says Katrin Mani, reader in Molecular Medicine at Lund University.

"Another interesting finding is that the useful vitamin C does not need to come from fresh fruit. In our experiments, we show that the vitamin C can also be absorbed in larger quantities in the form of dehydroascorbic acid from juice that has been kept overnight in a refrigerator, for example."

There is at present no treatment that cures Alzheimer's disease, but the research is aimed at treatments and methods to delay and alleviate the progression of the disease by addressing the symptoms.

That antioxidants such as vitamin C have a protective effect against a number of diseases, from the common cold to heart attacks and dementia, has long been a current focus of research.

"The notion that vitamin C can have a positive effect on Alzheimer's disease is controversial, but our results open up new opportunities for research into Alzheimer's and the possibilities offered by vitamin C," says Katrin Mani.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Lund University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. F. Cheng, R. Cappai, G. D. Ciccotosto, G. Svensson, G. Multhaup, L.-A. Fransson, K. Mani. Suppression of Amyloid β A11 Antibody Immunoreactivity by Vitamin C: Possible Role Of Heparan Sulfate Oligosaccharides Derived From Glypican-1 By Ascorbate-induced, Nitric Oxide (NO)-catalyzed Degradation. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2011; 286 (31): 27559 DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M111.243345

Cite This Page:

Lund University. "Treatment with vitamin C dissolves toxic protein aggregates in Alzheimer's disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110818101645.htm>.
Lund University. (2011, August 18). Treatment with vitamin C dissolves toxic protein aggregates in Alzheimer's disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110818101645.htm
Lund University. "Treatment with vitamin C dissolves toxic protein aggregates in Alzheimer's disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110818101645.htm (accessed March 27, 2015).

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