You Won’t Believe What This Snake Can Do For…Alzheimer’s

Written by Outdoor Beasts Staff on March 22, 2016

 

Great news…

Maybe…

A viper’s venom would usually be something to steer clear of if you’re at all concerned about your health, but new research suggests it may in fact boost the wellbeing of those with Alzheimer’s disease. Australian scientists have discovered a molecule in this predator’s poison that slows the onset of Alzheimer’s, working to break down plaques in the brain that lead to dementia and typify the condition.

A protein known as amyloid beta is thought to be the main culprit behind Alzheimer’s disease. In healthy people enzymes clear these proteins away naturally, but in Alzheimer’s sufferers these enzymes don’t perform as required, leaving the amyloid beta plaque to accumulate and damage the synapses leading to symptoms such as memory loss.

Outdoor Beasts You Won't Believe What This Snake Can Do For...Alzheimer’s

Scientists around the world have been searching for ways to slow down or halt this process, uncovering natural molecules, debris-clearing proteins and antibody-releasing implants that, with further development, may come to the rescue. As part of this collective effort, a team at Australia’s Monash University were looking specifically for molecules that would boost the activity of the plaque-degrading enzymes.

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