Evaluation of Combination Nutritional Supplement Therapies in the Prevention of Alzheimers disease in [ 2008 - 2011 ]

Also known as: Do Combinations of Nutritional Supplements Help in the Prevention of Alzheimers disease

Research Grant

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Researchers: Prof Ralph Martins (Principal investigator) ,  Dr Matthew Sharman Prof Barry Halliwell Prof Gerald Muench Prof Markus Wenk
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Brief description Age-related diseases are becoming a major concern as the world’s population grows older due to advances in medical technology, health and nutrition. Dementia accounts for a large proportion of agerelated diseases and is characterised clinically by deterioration in memory and cognitive processing. AD is the most common form of cerebral degeneration leading to dementia. Currently over 200,000 Australians suffer from dementia, with AD, accounting for 50-70% of all cases. At this rate, the number of people in Australia with dementia will increase to 730,000 by the year 2050. Thus, there is an urgent need for effective preventative treatments for this devastating disease, as dementia will soon be the major cause of disability in Australia. As a result, the social and economic consequences of this disease present a significant challenge to society, and it is imperative that strategies to prevent or delay the onset of AD are developed. If complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies could be developed to prevent or delay the onset for Alzheimer’s disease, the impact on disease burden could be substantial. However, these CAM therapies need to be critically evaluated for their mechanisms, efficacy and safety before human clinical trial are undertaken. The proposed research plan will evaluate the efficacy of the nutritional supplements of polyphenols (EGCG from green tea and curcumin), omega-3 essential fatty acids (docosahexaenoic acid) and lipoic acid to determine whether these treatments in combination offer preventative therapies for AD. The findings from the current study will provide important information concerning the effects of combination supplements in preventing cognitive deficits and AD pathology in a transgenic mouse model. Combination treatments may reduce cognitive deficits (memory and learning), oxidative stress and AD pathology, thereby providing an important insight into possible CAM preventative treatment strategies for AD. The development of effective preventative strategies for the treatment of AD is critical if we are to reduce the number of people that are expected to develop AD over the next 50 years, due to the rapidly aging population. The outcomes of this research may provide disease modifying therapies for the prevention of AD.

Funding Amount $AUD 484,675.00

Funding Scheme NHMRC Strategic Awards

Notes Complimentary and Alternative Medicines

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