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Indian Scientists Discover Promising Alzheimer's Treatment In Plant-based Polyphenols

Indian scientists find tannic acid in chestnut and oak twigs as a promising treatment for Alzheimer's and ferroptosis.

General News
| Written By
Swapnanil Chatterjee
Alzheimer's disease Indian Scientists offer hope for Alzheimer's patients with potential treatment route

Indian scientists offer hope for Alzheimer's patients with potential treatment route | Image: Unsplash/Representative

Indian scientists have uncovered a potential treatment route for combating Alzheimer's disease (AD) involving naturally occurring plant-based polyphenols (PPs), specifically tannic acid found in chestnut and oak twigs, according to officials from the Ministry of Science & Technology. This finding could provide an affordable and secure way to ease the impact of this serious brain condition and help alleviate the societal burden individuals with Alzheimer's have to go through.

According to the Ministry, Alzheimer's is a widely prevalent progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterised by memory and cognitive decline, in simpler words, memory loss and the ability to recognize, yet it remains poorly understood despite decades of research. Ferroptosis, an iron-dependent form of programmed cell death, has emerged as a significant contributor to the development of AD. Key characteristics of AD align with the hallmarks of ferroptosis, including abnormal iron buildup, lipid peroxidation, and reduced activity of the antioxidant enzyme GPX4.

Conventional methods to fight ferroptosis mainly deal with removing excess iron and counteracting harmful oxygen molecules. But there's a promising treatment option involving the GPX4 pathway, which is a key defence against ferroptosis, that hasn't been widely investigated yet.

Scientists at the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR) have presented naturally occurring polyphenols, particularly tannic acid, as a groundbreaking therapeutic agent with dual capabilities to ameliorate ferroptosis and Alzheimer's. The study, as per official claims, demonstrates that tannic acid can act as both an activator and enhancer of GPX4, offering a conceptually advanced strategy for combating Alzheimer's by modulating the GPX4-ferroptosis-AD axis.

The research also unveils the mechanistic link between Alzheimer's and ferroptosis, shedding light on a previously elusive connection. By inhibiting the aggregation of amyloid and tau proteins, diminishing oxidative stress, rescuing mitochondrial function, and inhibiting ferroptosis, tannic acid presents a comprehensive approach to tackling Alzheimer's.

As per the MoST, this discovery not only provides hope for those affected by Alzheimer's but also paves the way for future drug development. Medicinal chemists are now inspired to explore new derivatives of natural compounds, enhancing therapeutic efficacy against Alzheimer's.

With the potential to target both AD and ferroptosis simultaneously, tannic acid stands out as a multifunctional molecule, establishing itself as a potent candidate for mitigating several pathways of AD and ferroptosis, the Ministry’s statement added.


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