New research has shown that ayahuscan plants are able to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s, a debilitating neurodegenerative disease that affects millions of people in the world.
Researchers at the University of Texas in Austin and the University at Buffalo found that the Ayahuasca plant, also known as ayahuaca, is able to block the development of Alzheimer-related beta amyloid plaque in the brains of mice.
The study, which was published in the journal Alzheimer’s & AD, involved mice that had been genetically engineered to have mutations that result in an abnormal protein called Aβ.
In their study, researchers found that after a single treatment with ayahuascosaponin, which mimics the effects of the plant’s active ingredient, the mice showed significant reductions in beta amloid plaque, a protein associated with Alzheimer’s.
The research also showed that mice treated with the compound exhibited improvements in memory and cognition after being given a drug to combat inflammation.
“We found that these compounds slow the formation of beta amoloid and improve cognitive function in the brain,” said study lead author Dr. J.M. Johnson.
The discovery could have implications for the treatment of other forms of dementia, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, which are caused by a lack of normal proteins in the body.
The findings are important because many patients who suffer from dementia do not respond to traditional treatments, and there are no proven drugs that can stop the progression to dementia.
But it is not known whether the effects seen in this study translate to Alzheimer’s or other forms.
Researchers in this week’s issue of the journal Science reported that while there is a large body of evidence supporting the idea that the brain can be treated with drugs to reduce inflammation, there is not enough evidence to recommend the same treatment for Alzheimer’s patients.
“In our opinion, there’s not enough data to show that ayhuasca can treat Alzheimer’s,” said Dr. Ralf Tölke, an Alzheimer’s expert at the Institute of Neurology of Vienna.
The researchers also note that Ayahuascotasaponin was tested in mice with other forms, including human beings.
Tölkel said the team’s findings also do not mean ayahuacosaponins can cure Alzheimer’s in humans, but they may be a “good start.”
“We have no doubt that this compound can be used to treat Alzheimers in the future,” he said.
The results of the study were based on mice that have been genetically altered to have a mutation that produces an abnormal beta amolic protein called amylase A.
The mutation is also associated with a variety of other health problems including hypertension, type 2 diabetes and osteoarthritis.
Ayahuasca is used in the Amazon region of South America and indigenous communities use it to treat a wide range of conditions, including diabetes, hypertension and osteoporosis.