A research team at the University of Texas El Paso has found that Caffeic-Acid based Carbon Quantum Dots (CACQDs) have the potential to protect neurons from severe neurodegenerative disease damage. In general, neurodegenerative disease treatments are only symptomatic, meaning that these treatments aren’t cure-oriented. Many of these disorders in their early stages can contribute to other diseases and the aggregation of amyloid-forming protein fragments, leading to plaques or fibrils in the brain. The research team observed that CACQDs are able to remove free radicals (harmful molecules contributing to disease) or prevent them from causing damage and inhibit aggregation of those fragments without causing significant side effects.
Although not of much help in more advanced stages, this research provides important insight into curing several neurodegenerative diseases. In general, a CACQDs treatment can be effective in preventing diseases like Alzheimer’s when addressed in the early stages. Additionally, considering that CACQDs is a derivative of coffee grounds, harvesting it is also very eco-friendly.