Marine Sponges as Alternative for Treating Alzheimer’s Disease

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Illustration by Feri Fenoria

UNAIR NEWS – Sponges or marine sponges are porous animal living on the seabed. This marine organism is unique, classified as animal but cannot move freely like other marine animals.

Sponges are believed to produce a variety of chemical compounds as a defense mechanism against predators in the sea. Chemical compounds produced by sponges turned out to be useful in the treatment of various diseases.

From the benefits found in this sponge, a lecturer of Faculty of Pharmacy (FF) Suciati, S.Si., Apt., M.Phil., PhD. with her colleagues, Karma Rabgay, Yunda Fachrunniza, Tongchai Saesong, Tri Aryono Hadi, Tutik Sri Wahyuni, Aty Widyawaruyanti, and Kornkanok Ingkaninan conducted a research on this matter. Research conducted by Suciati and the team was carried out on Tabuhan Island, Banyuwangi.

“Marine sponges have become a source of various metabolites with strong biological activity. In this study 15 methanol extracts of sea sponges were collected off the coast of Tabuhan Island, Banyuwangi, East Java. Then it will be evaluated in connection with cholinesterase and 5a-reductase inhibition activities, “explained the lecturer known as Suciati.

One of the benefits of sponges, she continued, is for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative disease that attacks the brain which usually occurs in old age.

“Alzheimer’s disease is characterized by a declining memory, the ability to think and speak, and gradual behavior changes. This is usually known as senility in the elderly. This disease usually attacks humans at the age of> 60 years, “he said.

Alzheimer’s disease treatment can be done in various ways. One way is using the enzyme inhibitors of acetylcholinesterase, for example galantamine, donepezil, rivastigmine and memantine but there are limitations in the use of these drugs because of the serious side effects.

The results of the study conducted by Suciati and the team showed that from 15 sponges taken from the waters of Tabuhan Banyuwangi Island, 3 methanol extracts of the sponge showed inhibition of the enzyme acetylcholinesterase, so it has the potential for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. The sponge in question were Callyspongia sp., Agelas nakamurai  and Niphates olemda.

“I hope that this research team and I will not stop here. More research is needed to determine metabolites that can be used as an alternative to cholinesterase inhibitory activity,” she concluded.

Author: Dian Putri Apriliani

Editor: Nuri Hermawna

Link :

Suciati, Karma Rabgay, Yunda Fachrunniza, Tongchai Saesong, Tri Aryono Hadi, Tutik Sri Wahyuni, Aty Widyawaruyanti, Kornkanok Ingkaninan. 2019. Enzyme Inhibitory Activities of Marine Sponges Against Cholinesterase And 5α-Reductase

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