Alzheimer’s-Fighting Chinese Moss Compound Synthesized in Lab

29 August, 2011 at 08:16 | Posted in Body & Mind, China, Nature, Science | Leave a comment
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Epoch Times Staff

An enzyme inhibitor found in a species of moss used in Traditional Chinese Medicine has been synthesized efficiently in the lab, and could be used to treat Alzheimer’s disease as well as block the effects of certain chemical warfare agents.

Known as huperzine A, the alkaloid occurs naturally in a club moss, Huperzia serrata, which has a long history in China for treating a number of conditions, including pain and inflammation.

“Being able to synthesize large amounts of huperzine A in the lab is crucial because the plant itself, which has been used in Chinese folk medicine for centuries, takes decades to grow and is nearing extinction due to overharvesting,” said chemist Seth Herzon at Yale University in a press release.

Research has shown that huperzine A aids learning and memory function by protecting the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which is produced by the cholinergic system in the brain. Damage to this system may be associated with memory loss in Alzheimer’s disease.

Read more: Alzheimer’s-Fighting Chinese Moss Compound Synthesized in Lab | Science | Epoch Times

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