Research worldwide both in pharmaceutical companies and academia have failed to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. We need to leverage the knowledge base of the traditional system of medicine, such as ayurveda, which have been practised for more than 5,000 years. Dr Vijayalakshmi Ravindranath, chairperson at Centre for Neuro Sciences at IISc, is using an extract of the Ayurvedic herb Ashwagandha root on mice with Alzheimer’s disease. Her preliminary finding is that it can reverse memory loss. Ashwagandha root did not work directly on the brain. Instead it enhanced a protein in the liver that is broken down and released into the blood to act as a sink for the amy- loid and helps pull out the amyloid from the brain. The Tatas have pledged an Rs 75 crore grant for the research being done on the IISc campus.
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