The Welsh daffodil could be a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, according to scientists.
Researchers at Cardiff university’s Manufacturing Engineering Centre (MEC) found that a daffodil species from the Black Mountains of South Powys produces galanthamine, which scientists believe could alleviate memory loss.
The centre has linked up with the Institute of Grassland & Environmental Research at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. Both are helping drug firm Alzeim to develop the daffodil as a medicinal plant.
The MEC is providing support from harvesting in the field to marketing the pharmaceutical end-product. This includes assisting with the science of developing crops more than once a year.
MEC marketing director Frank Marsh said it is not a new concept — there is mention in history books of a black-rooted, white flower that alleviates memory loss. He added: “It has now been rediscovered and the benefits are extensive — not only to Welsh bioscience and the pharmaceutical industry, but to the ageing population.”
Alzeim professor Trevor Walker confirmed that Alzheimer’s disease makes up 55 per cent of all cases of dementia. He added: “Dementia affects one person in 20 over the age of 65 and one person in five over the age of 80. It is fantastic that a daffodil can help.”
Tony James, president of the Daffodil Society, said he was “delighted” the native Welsh daffodil is helping to advance medicine.
Alzeim is supported by EU funded programme Glasu.
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