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Neuroprotective effects of fucoidan promising in Alzheimer’s Disease

Posted Tuesday 26 February 2019

elderly care

New research has investigated the neuroprotective effects of Maritech® fucoidan, with findings that may provide future treatment options in Alzheimer’s Disease. Co-authored by Marinova’s Senior Chemist, Dr Sam Karpiniec, the paper has recently been published in the International Journal of Biological Macromolecules.

Five different Maritech® fucoidan extracts from the Fucus vesiculosus and Undaria pinnatifida species of seaweed were investigated. Fucoidans can differ in structure and bioactivity, depending on the species from which they are derived, as well as the method of extraction. The extracts in this study varied in both purity and composition, with some very high-purity extracts (over 95% pure fucoidan) and some extracts from Fucus vesiculosus containing marine polyphenols.

All Maritech® fucoidan extracts were demonstrated to exhibit a number of in vitro neuroprotective effects, including reducing cytotoxicity in neuronal PC-12 cells caused by aggregation of Aβ1–42 and hydrogen peroxide.

Inhibition of Aβ1–42 induced apoptosis was also found. Aβ1–42 is a member of the Amyloid beta family of amino acids and is linked to plaque formation in the brain. Amyloid beta is a key biomarker in detecting Alzheimer's disease and currently being investigated as a drug target. Bioactive compounds, like fucoidan, that work to reduce Amyloid beta plaque formation may provide a future treatment option for Alzheimer’s Disease patients.

In the study, the phlorotannin-rich Fucus fucoidan extract and two Undaria fucoidan extracts supplied by Marinova showed the highest effects against Aβ1–42 to reduce aggregation. These results highlight how neuroprotective activities of fucoidan can differ with the structure and species of seaweed, as well as methods of purification.

These findings are supported by previous studies investigating fucoidan in Alzheimer’s Disease. Fucoidan was also demonstrated to protect PC-12 cells from apoptosis and ameliorate learning and memory impairment in an Alzheimer’s Disease mouse model. Similarly, fucoidan has been shown to significantly improve the spatial cognition of rats with learning and memory impairment.

Marinova continues to investigate Maritech® fucoidan extracts in applications relating to neurological conditions, including Alzheimer’s Disease. Currently, the company is investigating the effects of Maritech® fucoidan in modulating macrophage behaviour, which may play a role in neurological disorders linked to brain inflammation.

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