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A Natural Prevention and Treatment for Dementia, According to Scientists

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By Kyle J. Norton

Celery may have a potential effect in the protection of neuron integrity against the onset of dementia, scientists found.

Dementia is a group of diseases associated with the decline in memory or thinking skills severe enough to affect a person’s ability to perform everyday activities and quality of life.


According to the statistic provided by the UK Alzheimer’s Association, 1 in 3 people born in the UK this year will develop dementia in their lifetime. 


Today, dementia affects over 850,000 people in the UK and this number will increase to over one million by 2025 and over two million by 2050.  Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of all cases.


There are many types of dementia, depending on the specific regions damaged which are responsible for differentiation of the functions (for example, memory, judgment, and movement) in the brain. Dementia patients may experience different types of symptoms as cells in that particular region can no longer carry out its functions normally.


Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disorder named for German physician Alois Alzheimer. Alzheimer’s destroys brain cells, causing problems with memory, thinking, and behavior severe enough to affect language communication, memory, lifelong hobbies or social life. Alzheimer’s gets worse over time, and it is fatal.

Absence of acetylcholine
Diminished quality of acetylcholine may result in cognitive dysfunction, causing language difficulty, memory loss, concentration problem, and reduced mobile skills because of lacking reaction in muscular activity and refection.


Multi-infarct dementia
Also known as vascular dementia, is the second most common form of dementia after Alzheimer’s disease in older adults, caused by different mechanisms involved all vascular lesions in the brain.


Parkinson’s disease
Parkinson disease (PD) is a disabling, progressive condition, caused by the interruption of frontal-subcortical loops that facilitate cognition and parallel the motor loop due to loss of substantia nigra pars compacta (SNc) dopamine (DA) neurons.


Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is a quickly progressing and fatal disease that consists of dementia, muscle abnormal functions.


There are many risk factors associated with the prevalence of dementia. In the Western World, some researchers suggested that the widespread of dementia over the last many decades was probably attributed to the promotion of a poor diet.


Dr. P.J. Smith, the lead scientist in the examine the risk of cognitive decline associated with a poor diet said, “ It has been recognized that lifestyle factors including dietary patterns, may be important in the prevention of cognitive decline and dementia in later life”.


These results clearly suggested that people who follow the poor diet pattern are at substantial risk to develop dementia when they get older.

Celery is a species of Apium graveolens, belonging to the family Apiaceae. The plant is cultivated all around the globe as a vegetable. Celery can grow to 1/2 m tall with stalks (leaf on the top) arranging in a conical shape joined at a common base.

With an aim to discover a natural ingredient for the prevention and treatment of dementia with no side effect, researchers at The Chinese University of Hong Kong looked into the 3-n-Butylphthalide (NBP), a compound extracted from Chinese celery used as an anti-hypertensive herbal medicine for treating stroke patients.

In vitro and in vivo, 3-n-Butylphthalide (NBP) enhanced cell survival regardless of whether they are added before, simultaneously with or after the addition of H(2)O(2).


In spontaneously hypertensive rats and Wistar Kyoto control rats with chronic cerebral ischemia, application of NBP showed a significantly improved the performance in the place navigation test and spatial probe test, compared to the untreated animals.


Additionally, in the chick’s embryonic chorioallantoic membrane researchers found that NBP, enhances the development of new blood vessel to the affected area accompanied by increased expression of growth factors, VEGF, VEGF-receptor and bFGF, potent angiogenic inducers.


Dr. Zhang L, the lead author said, “one of the mechanisms of DL-NBP might be ameliorating vascular dementia and promoting angiogenesis”.


In Alzheimer’s disease (AD), application of L-3-n-butylphthalide (NBP), an extract from seeds of Apium graveolens Linn (Chinese celery), showed a strong neuroprotective effect on ischemic, vascular dementia, and amyloid-beta (Abeta)-infused animal models.


In a triple-transgenic AD mouse model (3xTg-AD) that develops both plaques and tangles with aging, and cognitive deficits, 15 mg/kg L-NBP by oral gavage for 18 weeks significantly improved learning deficits, and long-term spatial memory, compared to control.

NBP treatment significantly reduced total cerebral Abeta plaque deposition and lowered Abeta levels in brain homogenates probably through enhancing the soluble amyloid precursor protein secretion (alphaAPPs), alpha-secretase.
More importantly, L-NBP treatment in 3xTg-AD mice also reduced glial activation in the induction of pathological pain and oxidative stress compared to control.


The findings indicated NBP can be a promising preclinical potential of a multitarget drug for the prevention and/or treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.


Taken altogether, Chinese celery processed a major compound 3-n-Butylphthalide (NBP) may be considered a functional food for the prevention and treatment of dementia, particularly in the AD with no side effects.

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Author Biography
Kyle J. Norton (Scholar, Master of Nutrition, All right reserved)

Health article writer and researcher; Over 10.000 articles and research papers have been written and published online, including worldwide health, ezine articles, article base, health blogs, self-growth, best before it’s news, the karate GB daily, etc.,
Named TOP 50 MEDICAL ESSAYS FOR ARTISTS & AUTHORS TO READ by Named 50 of the best health Tweeters Canada – Huffington Post
Nominated for shorty award over last 4 years
Some articles have been used as references in medical research, such as international journal Pharma and Bioscience, ISSN 0975-6299.

(1) Effects of DL-3-n-butylphthalide on vascular dementia and angiogenesis by Zhang L1, Lü L, Chan WM, Huang Y, Wai MS, Yew DT. (PubMed)
(2) L-3-n-butylphthalide improves cognitive impairment and reduces amyloid-beta in a transgenic model of Alzheimer’s disease by Peng Y1, Sun J, Hon S, Nylander AN, Xia W, Feng Y, Wang X, Lemere CA(PubMed)
(3) L-3-n-butylphthalide reduces tau phosphorylation and improves cognitive deficits in AβPP/PS1-Alzheimer’s transgenic mice by Peng Y1, Hu Y, Xu S, Li P, Li J, Lu L, Yang H, Feng N, Wang L, Wang X.(PubMed)
(4) Dietary Factors and Cognitive Decline by P.J. Smith and J.A. Blumenthal. (PMC)

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