Researchers at IIT Guwahati have found a new way to prevent memory loss due to Alzheimer using electricity

CIOL Bureau
New Update
Researchers at IIT Guwahati have found a new way to prevent memory loss due to Alzheimer using electricity

Researchers at IIT Guwahati have worked out a technique against Alzheimer's. This can help prevent or reduce short-memory losses associated with the disease.


India has the third-largest number of Alzheimer's patients; the number over 4 million. Thus, this study assumes a technological significance in the development of a cure in India. But today, the treatment that doctors use can only relieve some symptoms. So, there is no therapeutic approach to help such patients.

How is the study useful?

The team at IIT Guwahati studied the neurochemical principles of Alzheimer’s and explored new ways to prevent the accumulation of neurotoxic molecules in the brain. These molecules are associated with short-term memory loss. During this research, they found that methods such as the application of low-voltage electric field, and the use of ‘trojan peptides’ can arrest aggregation of neurotoxic molecules in the brain.


Meaning, Alzheimer’s is caused due to the accumulation of amyloid-beta peptides in the brain. The researchers at IIT Guwahati deployed methods to reduce the accumulation of these peptides. This will help to arrest the progression of Alzheimer’s.

How did they come to the idea?

In 2019, the IIT Guwahati scientists found the use of a low-voltage electrical field against the disease. It can reduce the formation and accumulation of toxic neurodegenerative molecules that cause short-term memory loss in Alzheimer’s disease. So, they found that external electric/magnetic field modulates the structure of these peptide molecules, thereby preventing aggregation.


“Upon exposure to an electric field, we could retard the degeneration of nerve cells to an extent of 17–35%. Objectively, this would translate to about 10 years delay in the onset of the disease”, said Dr Ramakrishnan, head of the research.

Working further in this area, the scientists explored the possibility of using ‘Trojan peptides’. The idea of using ‘Trojan peptide’ comes from mythological “Trojan Horse” used as subterfuge by the Greeks in the battle of Troy.

It could be useful to arrest aggregation of these neurotoxic molecules. For this, the researchers have designed Trojan peptides with the use of a similar approach of ‘deceit’ to delay the aggregation of the amyloid peptide. Further, it will arrest the formation of toxic fibrillar assemblies and reduce poisoning of nerve cells that leads to memory loss.


Who are the key people?

1. Prof. Vibin Ramakrishnan, Dept of Biosciences and Bioengineering and Prof. Harshal Nemade, Dept of Electronics and Electrical Engineering headed the research team.

2. Dr Gaurav Pandey and Mr Jahnu Saikia have associated them in the research.


The results of their studies are published in reputed journals like ACS Chemical Neuroscience, RSC Advances of Royal Society of Chemistry, BBA and Neuropeptides.

What do the key people from IIT Guwahati have to say?

Dr Ramakrishnan, who participates in worldwide efforts at finding cures for the disease said:

Approximately a hundred potential drugs for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease have failed between 1998 and 2011. So, this shows the gravity of the problem. Our research has provided a different path that may extend the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. However, it would take testing in animal models and clinical trials before bringing in such new therapeutic approaches into human treatment.

Read More: The role of AI and IoT technologies in the Covid-19 situation