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Welsh flower could alleviate Alzheimer's symptoms

2nd August 2005

A substance found in the Welsh national flower, could offer hope for sufferers of Alzheimer's disease, according to Cardiff University's Manufacturing Engineering Centre (MEC).

Certain species of daffodil produce galanthamine, a leading drug in the alleviation of memory loss symptoms.

Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia, making up 55 per cent of all cases.

The University's MEC is now helping a company Alzeim Ltd, to develop the agricultural potential of the daffodil as a medicinal plant.

The Centre will provide support from harvesting in the field to marketing the pharmaceutical product.

Frank Marsh, MEC marketing director said: "Galanthamine has major investment potential. Furthermore, the potential for Welsh hill farms is huge. The benefits are extensive, not only to Welsh bioscience and the pharmaceutical industry, but also to the ageing population."

Alzheimer's affects one in 20 people over the age of 65 and one person in five over the age of 80.