Posts Tagged “amyloid”

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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