Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Green tea and chocolate compounds offer hope for patients with HIV-associated cognitive impairment

Date:
August 14, 2012
Source:
Springer Science+Business Media
Summary:
Researchers discover compounds in green tea and chocolate may help reduce neurological complications linked to HIV.

Researchers have discovered compounds in green tea and chocolate may help reduce neurological complications linked to HIV.

Related Articles


Current drug therapy for patients with HIV is unable to control the complete replication of the virus in the brain. The drugs therefore do not have any effect against the complications associated with neurocognitive impairment in patients with HIV. New research by Joseph Steiner and colleagues from Johns Hopkins University has discovered that a group of plant polyphenols known as catechins, which naturally occur in green tea and the seed of the cacao tree, may help in the prevention of these neurological complications. Their work is published online in Springer's Journal of NeuroVirology.

Previous research has established the critical role of a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in supporting the survival and growth of neurons in the brain. This protein is active in areas of the brain vital to learning, memory and higher thinking. Patients with HIV have been found to have lower levels of BDNF in their brains than healthy individuals suggesting that this could be directly responsible for the cognitive impairment suffered.

In their research, Steiner and colleagues analysed the effects of 2000 compounds, containing both natural substances and FDA-approved drugs, on brain cells in the laboratory. They identified a series of compounds which had the potential to help protect neurons in the brain. Nine of these were related to epicatechin, which is found in cocoa and green tea leaves. Further screening and comparison with resveratrol, the antioxidant found in red wine, specifically identified epicatechin and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) as being the most effective at helping protect neurons by inducing production of BDNF.

Although the antioxidant activities of epicatechin and EGCG are well documented, the discovery that they could be responsible for inducing production of BDNF is an exciting advancement in this area. The fact that these compounds readily cross the blood-brain barrier further increases their therapeutic potential, as this is often a major stumbling block in the development of therapies directed at the brain. This provides hope for patients with HIV as there is currently no neuroprotective therapy available for patients with HIV-associated cognitive impairment.

The authors conclude: "Due to its simpler structure and more efficient blood-brain barrier penetration properties, epicatechin might be the best therapeutic candidate for neurodegenerative diseases. These include HIV-associated cognitive disorders where oxidative stress is an important pathophysiological mechanism." Further research in patients with HIV is required to elucidate just how effective these naturally occurring compounds could be.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Springer Science+Business Media. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Samir Nath, Muznabanu Bachani, Deepti Harshavardhana, Joseph P. Steiner. Catechins protect neurons against mitochondrial toxins and HIV proteins via activation of the BDNF pathway. Journal of NeuroVirology, 2012; DOI: 10.1007/s13365-012-0122-1

Cite This Page:

Springer Science+Business Media. "Green tea and chocolate compounds offer hope for patients with HIV-associated cognitive impairment." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 August 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120814085447.htm>.
Springer Science+Business Media. (2012, August 14). Green tea and chocolate compounds offer hope for patients with HIV-associated cognitive impairment. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120814085447.htm
Springer Science+Business Media. "Green tea and chocolate compounds offer hope for patients with HIV-associated cognitive impairment." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120814085447.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

U.S. Ebola Response Measures Demonstrated

U.S. Ebola Response Measures Demonstrated

AP (Oct. 31, 2014) Officials in the Washington area showed off Ebola response measures being taken at Dulles International Airport and the National Institutes of Health. (Oct. 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fauci Says Ebola Risk in US "essentially Zero"

Fauci Says Ebola Risk in US "essentially Zero"

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) NIAID Director Anthony Fauci said the risk of Ebola becoming an epidemic in the U.S. is essentially zero Thursday at the Washington Ideas Forum. He also said an Ebola vaccine will be tested in West Africa in the next few months. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nurse Defies Ebola Quarantine With Bike Ride

Nurse Defies Ebola Quarantine With Bike Ride

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) A nurse who vowed to defy Maine's voluntary quarantine for health care workers who treated Ebola patients followed through on her promise Thursday, leaving her home for an hour-long bike ride. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pot-Infused Edibles Raise Concerns in Colorado

Pot-Infused Edibles Raise Concerns in Colorado

AFP (Oct. 30, 2014) Colorado may have legalized marijuana for recreational use, but the debate around the decision still continues, with a recent - failed - attempt to ban cannabis-infused edibles. Duration: 01:53 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins