Scientists are harvesting all of them potatoes for an investigational experiment is being done on patients with Alzheimer’s disease using protein extracts obtained from a potato virus.

Alzheimer’s is associated mainly with amyloid plaque within the neurons of the brain. A major portion is formed of beta amyloid which should, in normal cases, break down on its own but rather tends to accumulate forming the insoluble hard plaque. Here is where the potatoes pitch in.

A fairly known potato virus “PVY“, basically harmless to humans, which I & probably you might have been previously exposed to, contains an amyloid-like protein. Through isolating the potato virus & injecting it in experimental animals with booster doses every month, the levels of antibodies against the protein, in 4 months, quickly rose to an extent that allowed these animals to successfully fight the formation of beta amyloid plaques, a contributing factor in the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.

Surprisingly, the mice also developed AD antibodies even when given PVY-infected potato leaves. Research on human subjects has been postponed for fear of the development of autoimmune encephalitis, although the early trials have been very promising.

Hopefully, this debate will soon be over once a purified version of the virus safe enough for human use is prepared & tested on these patients. Might be just a new ‘awakening’ 🙂

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2 Responses to “No more room for potato sack races!!!”
  1. Ur article is very interesting indeed,Radwa
    Antibodies are produced in response to specific antigen, do those antibodies (developed in potato after infection with PVY ) exert their protection by inhibiting sp antigen in virus responsible for abnormal protein folding seen.

    and if so,
    U said that we all might got infected with this PVY
    so does this virus infects only potato? or are we included on his hosts’ list?

    if we are among his hosts, a previously infected person would have immunoty against it?,i.e. will he elicit antibodies against it ?(and thus he will be naturally vaccinated against AD?)

    Or is the whole matter anything other than antibodies?

  2. no, I am afraid the host exists only in Kingdom Plantae where PVY stands for Potato Virus Y but passed along to humans, sure 🙂 “I am guessing as a particle formed of proteins & other foreign substances”

    After reading about this, I think they mean the antibodies are developed inside the HUMAN ‘not the potato’…the potato is merely a method of transmission of the virus because its proteins bear a strong resemblance to those which accumulate & form plaque in Alzheimer’s patients…similar to how the cowpox is used for small pox vaccination.

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