The premiere science institute in the country, Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore has undergone a path-breaking research using Ashwagandha to help people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Ashwagandha, which is an ayurvedic plant extract, is being used by Dr. Vijayalakshmi Ravindranath on mice with Alzheimer’s diseases in the IISc lab. The preliminary test results on the mice have proven that it can reverse memory loss. Dr. Ravindranath is the chairperson at Centre for Neuro Sciences at IISc and is looking forward to conduct the experiment on human beings.
The Tata group has offered Rs. 75 crores to carry forward the research at the IISc campus and is looking forward to an answer to the disease. According to Dr. Vijayalakshmi, “Research worldwide both in pharmaceutical companies and academia has failed to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. There is far less optimism as most drugs have failed in clinical trials. We need to leverage the knowledge base of the traditional system of medicine, such as Ayurveda, which have been practiced for more than, 2000 years. Understanding the knowledge base of these systems of medicine and using it effectively in the modern context is essential as we are set to see a large increase in cases of disorders of the ageing brain.”
Elaborating about her research and her findings, she further added, “We are now purifying the mixture and reducing the effective dose. What is interesting is the way the ashwagandha worked in the mice. The extract did not work directly on the brain. Instead it enhanced a protein in the liver that is broken down and released into the blood to act as a sink for the amyloid and helps pull out the amyloid from the brain.”