Degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s can be debilitating not just for those diagnosed, but for family members watching as their loved one fades away. According to a November 2018 study from scientists at Scripps Research, however, there may be a promising treatment on the horizon. The best part? It comes from a common antibiotic most of us have probably already been prescribed at some point in our lives.
Minocycline is a broad-spectrum antibiotic that is often used to treat a large number of infections. Chances are, just reading that name is already ringing bells from previous visits to the doctor's office. Michael Petrascheck, PhD, senior author of the study, elaborated in a report on the news from Scripps: “Our study reveals how minocycline prevents protein aggregation and lays the foundations for drug development efforts aimed at optimizing this already-approved drug for a range of neurodegenerative diseases."
The protein aggregation he refers to is one of the major causes of age-related brain diseases, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. The research showed that the antibiotic helped keep those proteins from building up and creating issues, even when it came to older test subjects. The research is still ongoing, but it’s definitely reassuring to know there may finally be a way to really battle these heartbreaking diseases. The research also indicates a potential for us all living longer, healthier lives overall.
While we wait for more definitive information on this exciting news, you can stock up on food rich in fisetin, a flavonoid found in several fruits and veggies that has also been shown to slow down the clock and prevent degenerative diseases from developing. Strawberries have the most fisetin content, but you can find it in mangoes, cucumbers (with the skin), apples, kiwi, peaches, grapes, tomatoes, and onions — all of which are certainly delicious options for eating your way to a longer life.