Prelims level : Science & Technology Mains level : GS-III Science & Technology - Awareness in the Fields of IT, Space, Computers, Robotics, Nano-Technology, Bio-Technology
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  • Scientists from Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), an autonomous institute under the Department of Science & Technology have developed a natural product based Alzheimer inhibitor.


  • The scientists have modified the structure of Berberine, a natural and cheap product similar to curcumin, available commercially, into Ber-D to use as a Alzheimer’s inhibitor.
  • They selected isoquinoline natural product berberine found in India and China and used in traditional medicine and other applications.
  • However, berberine is poorly soluble and toxic to cells.
  • So they modified berberine to Ber-D, which is a soluble (aqueous), antioxidant.
  • They found it to be a multifunctional inhibitor of multifaceted amyloid toxicity of Alzheimer’s disease.The multifunctional attributes make Ber-D a promising candidate for developing effective therapeutics to treat multifaceted toxicity of Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s Disease:

  • Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible and progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory, thinking ability and the capability to carry out simple tasks.
  • Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia (a continuous decline in thinking, behavioral and social skills).
  • In most people with Alzheimer’s, symptoms first appear in their mid-60s.

Assumed Factors Causing Disease:

  • A genetic mutation,
  • Abnormal build-up of proteins in and around brain cells,
  • Head Injuries, Cardiovascular disease and Down’s syndrome,
  • Other factors are hearing loss, social isolation, a sedentary lifestyle, untreated depression etc.
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