Salk researchers develop fisetin, curcumin as “geroneuroprotectors”

A team from the Salk Institute have synthesized potential treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases from two natural compounds that have been identified as geroprotectors
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Reprinted with the kind permission of Life Extension.

November 14, 2018. Research reported on November 13, 2018 in Trends in Pharmacological Sciences detailed the findings of a team from the Salk Institute in California who have synthesized potential treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases from two natural compounds that have already been identified as geroprotectors. “Geroprotectors are compounds that slow the rate of biological aging and therefore may reduce the incidence of age-associated diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease,” explained Salk professor David Schubert and colleagues.

“The argument for geroprotectors is that if one can extend the lifespan of model organisms, such as mice, and translate this effect to humans, then you should be able to slow down the appearance of many diseases that are associated with aging, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cancer and overall frailty,” commented Dr. Schubert, who is the head of Salk’s Cellular Neurobiology Laboratory.

Starting with the geroprotectors curcumin (which is derived from turmeric) and fisetin (found in strawberries and other fruits and vegetables), the researchers synthesized three compounds labeled CMS121, CAD31, and J147. These compounds and their parent compounds, dubbed “geroneuroprotectors,” decreased molecular markers of aging and dementia in mice and flies and extended median lifespan.

“If these drugs have benefits for other body systems, such as maintaining kidney function and overall muscle health, they could be used in additional ways to treat or prevent the diseases of aging,” Dr. Schubert predicted.

Compounds CMS121, derived from fisetin, and J147, derived from curcumin are currently the subjects of research and review needed prior to their evaluation in clinical trials.

Salk Senior Staff Scientist and senior author Pamela Maher noted that “Since we found that the natural products curcumin and fisetin are also geroneuroprotectors and commercially available as supplements, they could provide some therapeutic benefits right now.”

—D Dye

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