How Percepta® Works
Plaques and Tangles in the Normal Aging Brain
Your brain is an amazing thing, perhaps the most complex organ in the universe! Right now, your brain contains about 100 billion nerve cells all constantly connecting, firing and helping you get through the day. Starting in our early adulthood, however, our brains begin a slow, deliberate decline, as they begin to accumulate plaques and tangles.
Your brain weighs only three pounds, or about 2% of your body’s weight. Yet it uses 20-30% of the calories you consume, 20% of the oxygen you breathe, and 25% of the blood flow in your body; it consist of 85% water. There are approximately 100 billion nerve cells (i.e. neurons) in your brain, and up to a quadrillion synapses (1). Starting in your early adulthood, there is a slow but deliberate accumulation of two neurotoxic proteins in your brain as you age (2).
First is the brain accumulation of an insoluble (aggregated) specific protein known as the “beta-amyloid protein” (i.e. “Aβ” or “Abeta”). Beta-amyloid protein deposits in the form of plaques (that look like “meatballs” in the brain under a light microscope) have been shown to be instrumental in killing healthy neurons (i.e. nerve cells) (3-5). The accumulation of plaques in the brain leads to a decline in hippocampus-dependent memory and cognition in the normal aging brain. Dr. Snow’s laboratories developed and patented methods to produce plaques in a test-tube: (identical to what is seen in the human brain) and used these methods to screen for and identify natural “plaque-reducing” nutraceutical ingredients (6).
The second neurotoxic protein that accumulates in the aging brain is known as the “tau protein” and forms twisted paired helical filaments inside neurons (or nerve cells) called tangles (7-8). Tangles accumulate inside neurons and cause neurons to die. Tangles look like dried spaghetti strands under a light microscope.
Dr. Snow’s research team was the sole supplier of the tau 4-repeat domain to Sigma Aldrich which was sold to researchers all over the world to make tangles in a test-tube or petri dish (9). Thus, in the normal aging brain, you have the accumulation of both plaques and tangles that cause neurons to die; connections between nerve cells (called synapses) to disintegrate; and memory and cognition to progressively decline.
Neurofibrillary tangles consisting of tau protein form inside neurons and also cause neurons to die.
Compounds or agents able to disaggregate and reduce the accumulation of plaques and tangles have been shown to lead to memory improvement and a reduction in memory decline (10-18). The only difference between a healthy brain and an aging brain is the number of plaques and tangles in the brain. The more plaques and tangles you accumulate as you normally age, the worse your memory, focus, concentration and cognition will be.
Percepta® is postulated to be the world’s first oral nootropic to target the real reason we lose memory as we age: The accumulation of brain plaques and tangles.*