A colourful sea anemone could help slow down the inflammation process which leads to Alzheimer’s. It may also have uses for the treatment of conditions like cancer and arthritis.
Heteractis magnifica which live near the Seychelles have a neuropeptide in their tentacles which can inhibit the inflammation.
People with Alzheimer’s suffer a variety of brain disorders including disorientation and memory loss.
A scientific marine expedition at the Akademik Oparin scientific and research ship isolated the peptide from the anemones to test in the lab.
They found it reduced levels of active oxygen forms that cause cell damage.
“While the inflammation process is a normal reaction of a body to any injury, infection, or other external influence, chronic inflammation can cause many serious disorders – not only the Alzheimer’s, but also Parkinson’s disease, arthritis, pancreatitis, cancer, and other diseases., says Elena Lychenko of the School of Natural Sciences, FEFU.
The search for new compounds to prevent cell death is an important task for science and medicine, she explains.
The sea anemones are a rich source of these compounds .
“Sea anemones contain a wide range of biological substances with not only neuroprotective but also anti-cancer properties,” says Elena Leychenko.
The research will require further time and funding and could take another three to five years.
Photo credit: Neville Wootton – Sea anemone riding the current at Madivaru Manta Point.