The research team of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati headed by Professor Vibin Ramakrishnan, Department of Bioscience and Bioengineering and Professor Harsha Nemade, Department of Electronics and Electrical Engineering, IIT Guwahati with research scholars Dr. Gaurav Pandey and Jahnu Daikia worked on a new idea to help in preventing or reducing the short-term memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
i.India has the 3rd highest number of Alzheimer’s in the world after China and US with 4 million patients and the current treatments alleviates only some of the symptoms with no disruptive therapeutic approach to treat the causes of Alzheimer’s.
ii.From 1998 to 2011 approximately 100 potential drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer’s have failed.
iii.The main reason for the memory loss in Alzheimer’s is the accumulation of amyloid beta peptides in the brain and the researchers are working on methods to reduce the accumulation of these to arrest the progression of Alzheimer’s.
iv.The researchers studied the neurochemical principles of Alzheimer’s and methods to prevent accumulation of neurotoxic molecules in the brain that causes short term memory loss.
v.In 2019 they discovered that the external electric/magnetic field modulates the peptide molecule structure and prevents aggregation. The scientists of IIT Guwahati found that applying low voltage, safe electrical fields can reduce the formation and accumulation of toxic neurodegenerative molecules that causes short term memory loss.
vi.The research found that upon exposure to the electric field 17-35% of the degeneration of nerve cells are retarded which will delay the onset of the disease by 10 years.
The research team found a possibility of using ‘Trojan peptides’ to arrest aggregation of these neurotic molecules, the trojan peptides are designed by adopting an approach of deceit to reduce the aggregation of the amyloid peptide and arrest the formation of toxic fibrillar assemblies and reduces the nerve cells poisoning which causes memory loss.
The researchers mentioned that the animal models testing and clinical trials should be done before implementing this new therapeutic approaches into human treatment and the results of the research are published in journals like ACS Chemical Neuroscience, RSC Advances of Royal Society of Chemistry, BBA and Neuropeptides.
Director – Professor T G Sitharam
Deputy Director – Professor P S Robi
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