Scientists have found depletion of a protective molecule in the brain called glutathione is a possible cause of Alzheimer's Disease. Glutathione neutralises the effect of oxidative stress in the brain, which contributes to the disease. The study was published in the Human Brain Mapping Journal in its latest issue.
"Now it has been shown using state-of-the-art imaging techniques to study the brains of Alzheimer's patients, that only one form of Glutathione (good Glutathione) is capable of protecting the brain from Oxidative stress and possibly preventing Alzheimer's disease," said the lead scientist of the study, Pravat Mandal, at National Brain Research Centre (NBRC). The study was conducted jointly by the state-funded NBRC and the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
"Elderly people face various factors of stress such as sudden loss of family or friends, job, retirement, financial loss, non-congenial irritating family environment and heavy pollution etc. With such an environment, the amount of good glutathione gets depleted," Mandal added.
The study was carried out on over 100 patients of different age groups at the outpatient department of AIIMS. Researchers analysed the data and found various persons of the same age may have variable levels of good glutathione based on their brain's microenvironments.
India has an estimated 4 million people who have Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. It has the third-highest caseload of Alzheimer's Disease in the world, after China and the US. India's burden from the disease is expected to increase to about 7.5 million by the end of 2030, as the country has more than 80 million people over the age of 65.