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Scientists at JNCASR develop Berberine based Alzheimer inhibitor ‘Ber-D’

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On April 29, 2020, A team of scientists led by Prof. T. Govindaraju at the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre For Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR),  a multidisciplinary research institute located at Bangalore (Karnataka), has developed an Alzheimer’s inhibitor called ‘Ber-D’, a modified the structure of Berberine, a natural and cheap product similar to curcumin, found in India & China.Natural product based Alzheimer inhibitorKey Points:

i.Discovery:

  • The isoquinoline natural product berberine, used in traditional medicine & other purposes,has 4 Phenolic hydroxyl groups which are methylated, due to which it is water-insoluble.
  • So the team decided to change the structure of berberine into Ber-D, which is a soluble (aqueous), antioxidant.
  • The modified one said to be a multifunctional inhibitor of Alzheimer’s cellulo multifaceted amyloid toxicity, which is occurred due to protein aggregation observed in neuronal cells, including generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), mitochondrial dysfunction, interfering with synaptic signalling, and activation of premature cell death.

ii.The structural changes made by the team bars the growth of reactive oxygen species (ROS) & Reactive nitrogen species(RNS) and rescue biomacromolecules including DNA and protein from oxidative damage and lipid peroxidation.

iii.Their research work has been published in the scientific journal iSceince.

What is Alzheimer’s disease?

  • It is the most common cause of dementia — a continuous decline in thinking, behavioral and social skills that disrupts a person’s ability to function independently.
  • The multifactorial nature of the disease attributed to multifaceted toxicity has made it difficult for researchers to create an effective medication.