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Chemical from Plants Prevents Alzheimer's Disease in Mice

(Science Daily) A chemical that's found in fruits and vegetables from strawberries to cucumbers appears to stop memory loss that accompanies Alzheimer's disease in mice, scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have discovered.
In experiments on mice that normally develop Alzheimer's symptoms less than a year after birth, a daily dose of the compound -- -a flavonol called fisetin -- -prevented the progressive memory and learning impairments. The drug, however, did not alter the formation of amyloid plaques in the brain, accumulations of proteins which are commonly blamed for Alzheimer's disease. The new finding suggests a way to treat Alzheimer's symptoms independently of targeting amyloid plaques.
"We had already shown that in normal animals, fisetin can improve memory," says Pamela Maher, a senior staff scientist in Salk's Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory who led the new study. "What we showed here is that it also can have an effect on animals prone to Alzheimer's."
And there are many practical things we can do to prevent, delay, or minimize cognitive decline.
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