In the United States, Alzheimer’s disease currently affects 5 million people above age 65.
Instead of affecting the physical body, it takes away something just as precious — the mind.
Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia, which causes memory loss and difficulty with thinking, problem-solving and language.
Over time, Alzheimer’s disease worsens to the point where its victims completely lose any idea of who they are. On top of that, the details of their lives that led up to the present moment also disappear.
As the disease slowly robs the memories of their lives away, this cognitive decline is also tragic for loved ones to witness.
There is little they can do while the person they care so much about becomes a stranger living in the body of someone they used to know.
According to the Alzheimer’s Association …
• Every 67 seconds, someone in the U.S. develops Alzheimer’s.
• Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S.
• Approximately 500,000 people die each year because of this disease.
• One in three seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.
• In 2013, 15.5 million caregivers provided an estimated 17.7 billion hours of unpaid care valued at more than $220 billion.
It’s important to note that at this time in history, there is nothing on the market able to cure Alzheimer’s disease.
However, scientists have recently taken a major step forward in slowing the progression of, and possibly even preventing, this disease.
A Natural Breakthrough for Alzheimer’s Treatment, Prevention
An intriguing new treatment for Alzheimer’s is heading to clinical trials. It is a natural product that chemists have already patented, a botanical compound called withanamides.
Withanamides are derived from the plant Ashwagandha, an herbal remedy that’s been used in Eastern medicines for centuries.
While plants cannot be patented, compounds from it can.
Michigan State University holds the patent for withanamides, and earlier research revealed that the compound (found in the seeds of ashwagandha) proved to be a powerful antioxidant.
It is actually double the strength of what’s available on today’s market.
Muraleedharan Nair, a natural products chemist at MSU, had this to say about the plant’s compound:
“Our compound withanamides may work to prevent Alzheimer’s disease at the onset, and it also could prevent its progression.”
According to ScienceDaily.com:
“Alzheimer’s begins when a specific protein starts breaking, or cleaving, at the wrong place to produce an unwanted fragment.
“This bad fragment, called BAP, stresses cells’ membranes, sparks plaque formation and eventually kills the cells.
“This attack begins in the frontal lobe, erasing memories and continuing its unrelenting assault deeper into the brain.”
To date, pharmaceutical companies have focused their efforts on blocking this small fraction of bad cleaving that produces BAP.
But the dilemma has been whether the majority of this process is healthy for the brain.
“Rather than trying to stop only the malevolent cleaving, our compound keeps the bad protein from entering the cell where it does its damage. Our studies have shown that withanamides effectively protect the brain cells by neutralizing the effect of BAP.”
In Phytotherapy Research, Nair and his collaborators wrote that withanamides protected mouse brain cells from BAP damage.
Recent studies have shown that withanamides passed the blood-brain barrier; i.e., the filter that controls which chemicals reach the brain.
It resulted in the compound reaching its intended target and passing the last test before advancing to human testing.
After the clinical trials, Nair and his company Natural Therapeutics will pursue FDA approval.
“Dr. Nair discovered his molecule in a food-safe plant,” said Jim Richter, president of Natural Therapeutics.
“It’s also classified as GRAS — generally regarded as safe — by the FDA. This means that we can bypass many of the hurdles that slow synthetic molecules that need testing.
“By compressing the timeline dramatically, we’ll be able to save tens of millions of dollars, and if successful, bring an effective treatment to Alzheimer’s patients.”
If proven effective, this could be a remarkable treatment to preventing and slowing down Alzheimer’s disease. The millions of lives saved would be nothing short of a major triumph for medical care and all of humanity.
Let’s hope this is another step closer to the cure we’ve been waiting for.
Happy and Healthy Investing,
Publisher, Uncommon Wisdom Daily
P.S. If you or a loved one is over age 65, we have another important message for you.