Bioactive compounds in plant and vegetable extracts may promote great health benefits, and many studies have been currently focusing on their bioactivity and potential to become a natural medication. At present, treatments for neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis disease and other dementia disorders) are mostly to alleviate the symptoms. Therefore, studies have been motivated to attain the prevention of these diseases, as they have a negative impact on society. Natural bioactive compounds as phytosterols, carotenoids and others are still few explored concerning their application in the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases. The aim of this project is to aggregate value to a passion fruit by-product using its extracts (obtained by supercritical fractionation methods) to test their bioactivity, relating them with some neuroprotective effects. This work will be performed in three main steps: I) Chemical composition of the extracts (extracts and fractionated extracts) and selection of the enriched extracts in the target bioactive compounds; II) In vitro assays to evaluate the best responses in antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and enzyme activity (AChE and BuChE) to determine the extract that best inhibits the enzymes that catalyze the acetylcholine neurotrasmissors breakdown, and III) Blood-brain barrier analysis (BBB crossing) in the extracts rich in terpenoids to finally classify the extracts with best neuroprotective effects. The project will be developed in the Laboratory of Foodomics at the Research Institute of Food Science (CIAL) in Madrid, Spain, coordinated by Professor Elena Ibáñez.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: