Caffeine has been put through the ringer. One day it’s good for you, the next day maybe not so much. Indiana University has added to the positive side of the list, demonstrating caffeine’s effect on one of the proteins that lead to dementia.
THE STUDY screened 1,280 plus compounds and identified 24 compounds (including caffeine) with an enhancing effect on the brain enzyme nicotinamide mononucleotide adenylyl transferase 2 (NMNAT2)
THE EFFECT of caffeine and the other 23 compounds increases the production of the enzyme NMNAT2.
THE ACTION of the enzyme NMNAT2 is twofold, helping to prevent the misfolding of tau (a factor of dementia development), by providing a “chaperone function” and by shielding neurons from stress.
THE COMPOUNDS with the greatest affect were caffeine and rolipram, an orphaned drug from the 90’s developed a then discontinued as an antidepressant. Some others identified were ziprasidone, cantharidin, wortmannin, retinoic acid, and others.
THE SCIENTISTS led by Hui-Chen Lu, Ph.D. from the Indiana University published their study in Scientific Reports, “Screening with an NMNAT2-MSD platform identifies small molecules that modulate NMNAT2 levels in cortical neurons”
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Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News. (2017 March 8). Caffeine hikes brain enzyme that guards against Dementia
Wallace, Amy. (2017 March 7). Study: Caffeine may protect against dementia. Published by UPI.
Yousuf O. Ali, Gillian Bradley and Hui-Chen Lu (2017 March 7). Screening with an NMNAT2-MSD platform identifies small molecules that modulate NMNAT2 levels in cortical neurons