A new study identifies a particular ingredient of green tea – the substance epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG). Chemically, it belongs to the group of polyphenols and it is clear from the researchers’ observations that it has the property of disturbing the process of forming the toxic beta-amyloid plaques.
Beta-amyloid plaques are deposited in the brain for Alzheimer’s disease. They interfere with the proper flow of neuronal connections between the brain and various brain compartments and thus cause the described symptoms.
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease known for its damage – weakening of memory and ability to think, as well as changes in gait.
Previous studies have linked green tea with a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s, but they have not been able to clarify the mechanism of these observations so far.
The observations described not only confirm the previous studies that suspect the preventive role of EGCG but also reveal the specific mechanisms of this beneficial action.
The plaque is a beta-amyloid monomer that together forms oligomers (several linked monomers). Using nuclear magnetic resonance, the team found that EGCG remodel beta-amyloid oligomers, preventing them from forming plaques.
Despite the promising results, the team notes that for now, granting access to EGCG to the brain is a problem. That is why the continuation of this study will focus on developing methods to overcome the obstacle.
It is known that any damage done to the brain is irreversible and therefore at this stage the main focus in the behavior towards this disease is prevention and prevention – the physician’s ambition is aimed at maximizing the delay of the disease and the worsening of the symptoms in time.