Context: JNCASR scientists 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.

More on news: 

  • JNCASR, led his team in the quest to discover natural product based therapeutic candidates for Alzheimer’s disease, and 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.
  • Multifunctional inhibitor to ameliorate in cellulo multifaceted toxicity: Protein aggregation and amyloid toxicity predominantly contribute to multifaceted toxicity observed in neuronal cells, including generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), mitochondrial dysfunction, interfering with synaptic signaling, and activation of premature cell death.
  • The multifunctional attributes make Ber-D a promising candidate for developing effective therapeutics to treat multifaceted toxicity of Alzheimer’s disease.

Multifunctional attributes of Ber-D

  • Ber-D effectively targets multifaceted Aβ toxicity of Alzheimer’s disease. 
  • Berberine has 4 Phenolic hydroxyl groups which are methylated, hence water-insoluble. 
  • Ber-D treatment averts mitochondrial dysfunction and corresponding neuronal toxicity contributing to premature apoptosis (cell death) making Ber-D a potential therapeutic candidate to ameliorate multifaceted Aβ toxicity in Alzheimer’s disease.
  • The antioxidant Ber-D efficiently quenches both Reactive nitrogen species(RNS) & reactive oxygen species (ROS) and prevents DNA damage, protein oxidation, and lipid peroxidation, which cause numerous adverse biochemical cascade reactions leading to neuronal death. 
  • Ber-D inhibits the formation of toxic Aβ fibrillar aggregates and protects mitochondria from dysfunction, one of the major causes of neuronal death.


  • Alzheimer’s disease is the most prevalent neurodegenerative disorder and accounts for more than 70% of all dementia. 
  • The multifactorial nature of the disease attributed to multifaceted toxicity has made it difficult for researchers to develop effective medication.
  • Alzheimer's disease is a progressive disorder that causes brain cells to waste away (degenerate) and die. 
  • Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia — a continuous decline in thinking, behavioral and social skills that disrupts a person's ability to function independently.
  • The early signs of the disease may be forgetting recent events or conversations. 
  • As the disease progresses, a person with Alzheimer's disease will develop severe memory impairment and lose the ability to carry out everyday tasks.

Source: https://pib.gov.in/newsite/PrintRelease.aspx?relid=202639

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