April 24, 2024

Italian Study Shows How Extrusions Keep Alzheimer’s Protein Clusters In Check : ScienceAlert

Key components of espresso coffee can protect against the protein clumping in the brain associated with Alzheimer’s disease, a new study of laboratory samples shows, giving scientists an exciting new treatment avenue to explore.

Although it is not clear exactly how Alzheimer’s begins or develops, aggressive protein aggregates called tau in the brain – a protein that is perfectly smooth in normal amounts – they are suspects where researchers want to ask them more questions.

Here, a team from the University of Verona in Italy focused on the effects of coffee compounds on tau protein clumps, continuing. previous research who linked coffee and caffeine with protection against cognitive decline.

“These results provide insights into the neuroprotective potential of espresso coffee and suggest candidate molecular scaffolds for designing therapies targeting monomeric or fibrillated forms of the tau protein,” write the researchers in their published paper.

Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, a technique in which magnetic fields can control and analyze substances at the atomic level, to observe the chemical composition of espresso shots. Key ingredients – caffeine, trigonelline, genistein, and theobromine – were selected for further laboratory experimentation.

Molecules of these compounds were incubated with tau proteins for up to 40 hours. As the concentration of caffeine, genistein, or the whole espresso extract increased, the tau fibrils (protein clumps) are shorter and less likely to form larger groups.

Caffeine and other coffee compounds have been shown to prevent tau proteins from clumping. (Tira et al., Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry2023)

Furthermore, the experiments showed that these shortened fibrils were not toxic to cells and did not act as ‘seeds’ from which further clumping could take place. There was also caffeine and the espresso extract binding indicated with preformed tau fibrils, suggesting that they may be used to interact with existing clusters and prevent new ones.

Applying coffee compounds directly to the tau proteins is not how it will work within our bodies. The drink will first be processed in our digestive systems, and while some of these compounds are known to cross the blood-brain barrier, like caffeine, many other complex chemical interactions within our bodies may not directly produce these effects.

The researchers admit that there is much more work to be done here, but they are hopeful that these findings could eventually lead to preventive or therapeutic treatments for Alzheimer’s and other brain diseases where cognitive ability is affected.

Current treatments cannot reverse or prevent Alzheimer’s, although experts are constantly making advances in their understanding of it, whether with drugs that can slow it down or lifestyle changes that delay symptoms.

When it comes to coffee and its ingredients, there is much more to it than giving us that morning boost. It has previously been linked to decline the risk of cancer and the risk of liver disease, for example; but don’t drink too much of it.

“We have presented a large body of evidence that espresso coffee, a widely consumed beverage, is a source of natural compounds that show beneficial properties to improve tau-related pathologies,” write the researchers.

The research is published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *