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Monday, 07 November 2011 09:42

In vitro experiment- active agent of green tea and red laser light against Alzheimer’s disease

An experiment conducted by the Institute of Micro and Nanomaterials at the Ulm University demonstrates that it may be possible to develop a new treatment for Alzheimer’s disease using an active agent from green tea in combination with red laser light.

In an in vitro experiment, Dr. Andrei Sommer and his colleagues from the Ulm University proved that treating human neuroblastoma cells with epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) and 670 nanometre laser irradiation can destroy the beta amyloid proteins (plaques) which are present in the cells and normally accumulate in the patients’ brains. The neuroblastoma cells containing the plaque were immersed in epigallocatechin-3-gallate, a green tea extract known to inhibit beta amyloids.

This substance is normally unable to penetrate the blood-brain barrier, making it ineffective against plaques. However, irradiating the cells with red laser light during the experiment made the barrier more permeable for the substance. As a result it was possible to reduce the amount of harmful beta amyloids by 60 per cent.

In the long term the researchers hope to be able to combine further active agents with red laser irradiation to contribute to the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

Andrei P. Sommer, Jan Bieschke, Ralf P. Friedrich, Dan Zhu, Erich E. Wanker, Hans J. Fecht, Derliz Mereles, and Werner Hunstein (2011): 670?nm Laser Light and EGCG Complementarily Reduce Amyloid-ß Aggregates in Human Neuroblastoma Cells: Basis for Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease? Photomedicine and Laser Surgery. ahead of print.  doi:10.1089/pho.2011.3073.