Researchers at Boston Biomedical Research Institute and the University of Pennsylvania have found that a green tea component, when combined with another chemical, may help prevent brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s and Parkinson’s disease.
The study, published in the most recent issue of Nature Chemical Biology, suggests that the combination of the green tea element EGCG and the chemical DAPH-12 can prevent and destroy protein structures known as amyloids, the primary cause of fatal brain disorders.
Amyloid plaques are tightly wrapped layers of protein that envelop brain tissue causing loss of memory, motor function and premature death.
"Our findings are certainly preliminary and we need further work to fully comprehend the effects of EGCG in combination with other chemicals on amyloids," said lead scientist Martin Duennwald. "Yet, we see our study as a very exciting initial step towards combinatorial therapies for the treatment of amyloid-based diseases," he added.
The next step for the research team is to investigate the mechanism and potency of the proposed therapy in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.
Meanwhile, separate studies have indicated that the consumption of green tea can also help ward off heart disease and certain forms of cancer.