There are many products available that promise to cure everything from a sore throat to a chronic disease like diabetes, but few of them have the power to cure something as serious as Alzheimer’s.
In a world of drugs, solutions are sometimes cheaper and better than the alternative, but the process of extracting them from the ingredients is painstaking.
That’s where a British chemist has developed a solution that can extract betadine from just about anything, including blood, bone, muscle, skin and even the skin of a mouse.
It’s a revolutionary discovery that could help treat Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related conditions.
The solution, which has already been tested in mice, is being marketed by pharmaceutical giant Reckitt Benckiser, and it is already being tested in humans.
The research, led by scientists at Imperial College London, uses a mixture of betadines and betadate to bind to specific protein-coding molecules in the body and make the substance soluble.
The scientists hope that the new solution will be suitable for treating other disorders, including cancer.
The discovery comes from a group of British scientists led by Dr Peter Pritchard, who have been working on Betadines for over 20 years.
He was awarded a Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2016 for his work on the molecule.
“This molecule is very important because we need it to work for human patients,” Dr Pritard said.
“If we can get it into the body, it will be useful for all sorts of disorders.”
The researchers used a mixture that was already known to treat a variety of conditions including asthma, hypertension and epilepsy, to build on that, adding a second molecule that could bind to another protein-containing protein.
“It’s like using a cocktail to make a shot,” Dr William Burt, the co-director of Imperial College’s Department of Biological Chemistry and director of the company’s research arm, said.
The process is relatively simple and takes just three hours.
“We take the compound, mix it with water, and then apply a solution of the same stuff to the skin,” he said.
In the lab, the scientists used Betadate, a compound that binds to specific proteins in the human body.
But in humans, it binds to a protein called VP1.
“When we put Betadain in the bloodstream, we get VP1, which is normally responsible for the production of insulin, so it acts like an insulin receptor,” Dr Burt explained.
The team used a drug called VX-201 that is produced by the liver as part of its treatment of diabetes. “
That’s what we want to do here, because the way that it works in the liver and in the kidneys, it doesn’t seem to work in other organs.”
The team used a drug called VX-201 that is produced by the liver as part of its treatment of diabetes.
It is a compound called metformin that is taken by patients for the treatment of other conditions, including type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cancer and obesity.
It binds to the VP1 protein and binds to VX1.
The next step is to figure out what the protein is that is binding to VP1 and what it is that’s binding to Vx1.
So they started by using betadated water to do that.
“Then we just started adding the other thing that they’ve been working with for quite a long time, which was betadol, which we already knew is very useful for diabetes,” Dr Mark Smith, a professor at Imperial and one of the researchers, said, referring to a molecule that is derived from betadone and that is known to bind directly to Vy1.
That molecule is called betadanol and it binds with a specific molecular that’s found in the mitochondria of neurons, he said, adding that it also has a very low toxicity and is safe for many people.
But to work out how it works, the team needed to do some experiments.
The lab used a blood sample from mice to test the new Betadinal solution.
“I don’t think that people realise that you can extract these compounds from blood, which are in the blood and then you can actually use them in your body,” Dr Smith said.
But when they tested the betadined solution in the lab it wasn’t working, so the researchers had to go to the lab and add another molecule to the mix.
They then added a third molecule to give the solution its final form.
“You add another betadinal molecule to it, and you add that into the blood of the mice, and voila, the mice don’t have the disease,” Dr Srinivasan said.
He added that the results of that test showed that the betacetine solution was able to bind VP1 more effectively than a placebo solution, but that the drug also worked better than betadin.
The findings are published in Nature Biotechnology.