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Polyphenol shown to help slow down progression of Alzheimer's in mice

SUITA, Osaka -- A National Cerebral and Cardiovascular Center Hospital research team here has found that a type of the antioxidant polyphenol improved symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, publishing their results on April 4.

    The team led by cerebrovascular medicine and neurology researcher Satoshi Saito found that taxifolin -- a type of polyphenol found in thistles -- is likely to keep abnormal protein discharged from nerve cells from clogging blood vessels in the brain, which is thought to be the cause of Alzheimer's disease.

    When taxifolin was fed to mice with Alzheimer's symptoms, the blood flow in their brains and their cognitive functions returned to nearly that of healthy mice. The team is moving toward developing new medicine based on the results, and is aiming for clinical trials on humans this fiscal year.

    The research team has been conducting clinical tests since 2014 using medication "cilostazol," known to help remove abnormal protein, to curb the progression of Alzheimer's, and believes that when they used both taxifolin and cilostazol together, there would be a larger effect.

    "This discovery makes it possible to develop effective treatment methods for Alzheimer's disease," said Saito. "We hope to be implementing the combination treatment clinically by fiscal 2025."

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