MSU researcher developing new treatment for Alzhiemer's Disease

Mar 16, 2015

An Alzheimer’s treatment developed by a Michigan State University researcher may be available in the next few years.

Muraleedharan Nair is a natural products chemist at MSU.   He’s been working with Ashwagandha, a plant compound used in Eastern medicine.   From that work, Nair has patented a botanical compound called  withanamides.

“It is not exactly a 'pharmaceutical drug.' It is a natural supplement,” says Nair. 

Dr. Muraleedharan G Nair
Credit Michigan State University

While plants cannot be patented, compounds from Ashwagandha can.

MSU holds the patent for withanamides, and earlier research revealed that the compound, found in the plants’ seeds, proved to be a powerful anti-oxidant.

Nair says it's shown success in preventing the development of Alzheimer’s.

He hopes to start human clinical trials soon. 

“We anticipate that if the funding is there we should have a product ready to go in two to three years,” says Nair. 

Nair’s research has been funded in part by MSU AgBioResearch.