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New hope in brain disease battle


Researchers have found that a chemical in celery could help people suffering from brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease (CJD).

Luteolin, a compound found in celery, green pepper and chamomile, is known to have anti-inflammatory properties, and scientists have now shown that it reduces inflammation in the brains of mice.

They believe that in the right doses luteolin could be used to treat patients with a range of brain conditions, including Alzheimer’s and CJD.

The chemical belongs to a family of plant molecules called flavonoids which are believed to combat dementia linked to brain inflammation.

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA, investigated how luteolin acted on immune system cells in the brain called microlegia.

When the chemical was introduced into the drinking water of mice, they found that it blocked biological signals from cells which would normally have led to an inflammatory reaction.

“Luteolin is a promising agent for preventing and treating neuro-inflammation,” the scientists, led by Dr Rodney Johnson, from the university’s Animal Sciences Laboratory, wrote in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“It may be useful for mitigating a dysregulated linkage between the immune system and the brain.”

Copyright © PA Business 2008

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

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