Novel drug to fight Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s developed

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FILE - This Oct. 7, 2003 file photo shows a section of a human brain with Alzheimer's disease on display at the Museum of Neuroanatomy at the University at Buffalo, in Buffalo, N.Y. On Wednesday, July 25, 2018, two drug makers said an experimental therapy slowed mental decline by 30 percent in patients who got the highest dose in a mid-stage study, and it removed much of the sticky plaque gumming up their brains. The drug, called BAN2401, is from Eisai and Biogen. (AP Photo/David Duprey)

London:  Scientists have developed a drug with potential to stop the breakdown of nerves and brain cells that may lead to Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and motor neuron disease.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, which includes memory loss, confusion and problems with speech and understanding.

The drug is made up of “supercharged” vitamin A, which is found in vegetables like sprouts and carrots and miniature cabbages, the Daily Mail reported.

The study showed that vitamin A turns into a chemical called retinoic acid when broken down by the body, which is crucial for the development of the nervous system.

Higher levels of retinoic acid in the body could halt nerve damage and boost the number of nerve cells.

“We are moving forward with a new therapeutic which could be used to help people with Alzheimer’s disease,” Peter McCaffery, lead author and Professor from the Aberdeen University in Scotland, was quoted as saying.

“Our work is still at an early stage but we believe this is a positive development and the new drugs seem to protect nerve cells” he added.

With vitamin A making a difference, it is important to find ways of tackling neurological conditions, McCaffery said.

In addition, the drug may also benefit ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease, which affects the muscles of the arms, legs, mouth and respiratory system.