Sunday, 19 March 2017

Daffy for Dementia?


With more than 800k sufferers of dementia in the UK (and likely to grow with an ageing population), there is much interest in potential treatments (especially of the early stages). An interesting development (jncc.defra.gov.uk/page-5721) is the observation that a natural product (Galantamine) in the bulbs and leaves of the Daffodil (Narcissus pseudonarcissus) and the Snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis) appears to have beneficial effects on the development of Alzheimer's. Like any other 'herbal drug', the chemical is synthesised by the plant to protect the valuable bulb rather than for our benefit! It appears that bulbs grown at altitude in the Black Mountains produce higher levels of Galantamine (and even there it takes 10 tons of bulbs to generate 1kg of the chemical). It would make a change from sheep farming!

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