University of Southern California researchers say they have discovered evidence that a diet containing certain compounds found in green tea and various other plants reversed symptoms similar to Alzheimer's in mice.
According to USC News, researchers studied two main compounds, EGCG, otherwise known as epigallocatechin-2-gallate, found in green tea, and FA, or ferulic acid, which is found in various plants and vegetables, among them carrots, oats, wheat, rice and tomatoes.
Researchers said discoveries in mice rarely translate to actual human treatment, but the findings of the study suggest the possibility of a plant-based human remedy for dementia that could be easy to access for most people.
"You don't have to wait 10 to 12 years for a designer drug to make it to market; you can make these dietary changes today," said Terrence Town, a professor of physiology and neuroscience at the Keck School of Medicine, who authored the study. "I find that very encouraging."
An equal number of male and female mice were tested with one or both of the compounds or a placebo for three months in order to test the effectiveness of the diet. The mice were put through various neuropsychological tests, similar to tests that assess humans for dementia.
Researchers found that some affected mice who were treated with the plant compound-based diet were better able to navigate their way through mazes set up by the scientists - a key indicator that components of their memory had been restored, according to USC.
Town explained that, "After three months, combination treatment completely restored spatial working memory and the Alzheimer's mice performed just as well as the healthy comparison mice."
According to the article in USC News, Town explained that the compounds seemed to reduce key aspects of Alzheimer's pathology in humans.
The researchers intend to continue their research exploring treatment for dementia and Alzheimer's with a focus on "plant-derived" substances.