Effect of Ginseng on β-Amyloid in Alzheimer’s Disease
London Central Secondary School
Alzheimer’s disease is a neurological brain disorder, closely associated with inflammatory events and the accumulation of plaques in the brain formed by protein fragments called beta-amyloid (AB) peptides. This project used provided fixed tissues obtained from eight 6-month old male Wistar rats (four from the treatment group and four from the control group gavaged daily with ginseng and water respectively for five weeks) to determine the effect of American ginseng on the quantities of AB deposits and microglial cells in the internal capsule (int) and basal forebrain (bf) sections of the rat brain. The results demonstrated that ginseng treatment reduced the mean number of AB deposits in the internal capsule section by 89% (from 105.75 to 11.25 deposits) and in the basal forebrain section by 87% (from 26.5 to 3.5 deposits). The differences are significant with t(6) = 10.232, p = 0.000 and t(4.381) = 5.039, p = 0.006. Ginseng treatment also increased the mean number of microglial cells in the internal capsule section by 107% (from 95.5 to 197.25 cells) and in the basal forebrain section by 297% (from 9.25 to 36.75 cells). The difference for the internal capsule is significant with t(6) = 3.163, p = 0.019 while the difference for the basal forebrain is not significant with t(6) = 1.333, p = 0.231. These results suggest that ginseng has potential to prevent the formation of AB, stimulate the immune system, and trigger the release of microglial cells to relieve the syndromes of Alzheimer’s disease.