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Buckyballs In The Treatment Of Alzheimer’s Disease

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Buckyball is the first nanoparticle discovered in the year 1985 by the trio scientists Richard Smalley, Harry Kroto, and Robert Curl. Fullerene is a powerful antioxidant that reacts with free radicals that cause cell death. Fullerenes and their derivatives have the Antiviral activity to treat the HIV infection. Brain changes occur with these proteins are β-amyloid and tau tangles. The changes in Cerebrospinal fluid and blood indicate the earliest sign of Alzheimer’s disease (biomarkers) but the symptoms have not appeared. Ukrainian scientists discovered Carbon 60 or C-60 or Fullerene or Buckyballs. They are water-soluble, made progress on Alzheimer’s treating it with a Fullerene water solution.Through the Microinjection C60HyFn (0.46nmol/µl) is injected into the hippocampus reduces the deposition of β-amyloid in the pyramidal neurons of hippocampal CA1 neurons.


Buckyballs also called Fullerene (C60). It is the first nanoparticle discovered in the year 1985 by the three scientists who work at the Rice University named Richard Smalley, Harry Kroto and Robert Curl. Buckyball is a common name for the molecule called Buckminsterfullerene [1]. These three scientists awarded a Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1996.

History of discovery of fullerene

Carbon atoms in a single hexagonal sheet of graphite are completely naked above and below. In the periodic table, we are having one atom which satisfies the bonding of the nearest neighbor’s in two dimensions. Carbon makes chemically stable two-dimensional, one-atom-thick membrane in a 3D [2]. Vaporization of carbon species is a technique used to produce and detect this molecule from the surface of a solid disk of graphite using a focused pulsed laser into a high-density helium flow. This resulting forms the carbon cluster [3].

C60 form is called a truncated icosahedron, which looks like a soccer ball. It consists of 12 pentagons and 20 hexagons. These 3 scientists conducted the study, with 3 graduate students. Smalley has started the experiment by guiding the local carbon in the apparatus. This is before the Kroto’s arrival, after 4 days Kroto has arrived. While Kroto directing the experiment the students ran the machine.

Two significant results arise in ten days of the experiment. Smalley put the first one as ‘Kroto’s long carbon snakes’, the second one is ‘a previously unknown molecule of pure carbon’. By using the helium as the carrier gas, the students noticed in Kroto’s words ‘something quite remarkable takes place” an odd peak in the mass spectroscopy of the molecule formed into vapour [4]. The peak occurred at sixty carbon atom and seventy carbon atom. C60 and C70 are very strong. Most experiments are focused on C60.

Alzheimer’s disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a type of brain disease. This disease cannot be noticeable quickly. Only after a few years the symptoms arises such as memory loss, language problem. The neurons in the brain get damaged which are involved in the thinking, memory, and learning. As time passes the symptoms get increased and the person is unable to do his daily activities. In the final stage of the disease, the person requires care. At this point, the individual is said to have dementia [7].

Brain changes occur with these proteins are β-amyloid present outside the neuron may contribute to cell death by interfering with neuron-to-neuron at the synapse, while tau tangles present inside the neuron does not allow any nutrients or other molecules inside the neuron [8].

Stages of Alzheimer’s disease

There are 3 stages. Preclinical stage, Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), Dementia.

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Preclinical stage

This stage is still under investigation. The changes in Cerebrospinal fluid and blood indicate the earliest sign of Alzheimer’s disease (biomarkers) but the symptoms do not appear. Most research is required to identify the symptoms before it gets widespread in hospitals [9].

Mild Cognitive Impairment due to Alzheimer’s disease

People with MCI have brain changes i.e. elevated levels of β-amyloid. Non- modifiable risk factors and modified risk factors are identified for MCI. The non-modifiable risk factors include sex, age, and genetic factors, and modifiable risk factors such as level of education, vascular risk factors and imagining biomarkers. Only parents and friends can recognize the symptoms. A recent analysis found that after 2 years people with age 60 will develop dementia [10].

Dementia due to Alzheimer’s disease

Dementia can be noticeable by memory, thinking and behavioral symptoms identified in daily life. The person with dementia experiences multiple symptoms changing from period to period. These symptoms changes from mild to moderate to severe from person to person [11].

Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease

Doctors use several methods to determine whether a person is having a memory problem has ‘possible Alzheimer’s dementia’ or ‘probable Alzheimer’s dementia’. The doctor may ask the person or family or friends about the past reports. Overall health, diet, daily activities, changes in behavior and personality. Doctors conduct tests like Blood or Urine tests, CT or MRI scans, memory tests, genetic tests. The doctor prescribes the medicine to suppress the disease to some extent. It is not completely cured. For this reason, to treat Alzheimer’s disease, Ukrainian scientists discovered C60 water-soluble treatment.

Drinking Ukrainian Buckyballs [12]

The invention of drugs for the preparation and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease is the most important challenge for researchers in the 21st century. Synthesis of water-soluble fullerene and carbon nanotubes for drug development is growing rapidly in U.S.A, Asia, and Europe. Ukrainian scientists discovered Carbon 60 or C-60 or Fullerene or Buckyballs. They are water-soluble, made progress on Alzheimer’s treating it with a Fullerene water solution. This was approved as the Dietary Supplement by the Ukrainian Ministry of Health in 2010. They started producing drinking water in Ukraine with 0.0002mg/100ml of fullerenes.

The project aims to investigate the properties of stable antiamiloidn molecular colloidal aqueous solution of fullerene C60HyFn. The experimental models of Alzheimer’s disease is conducted under the direction of Igor Jakovljevic Podolsky. In 2007, he first discovered the neuroprotective properties of water molecules. He published his work in 2012 January revealed the influence of fullerene water causes the neurodegenerative process of memory loss.

For the first time by using transmission electron microscopy in vitro they found that water-soluble fullerene prevents and destroys the β-amyloid. By this, they concluded that the C60 in vitro anti-aggregation has a strong effect on the β-amyloid peptides.Through the Microinjection C60HyFn (0.46nmol/µl) is injected into the hippocampus reduces the deposition of β-amyloid in the pyramidal neurons of hippocampal CA1 neurons.


Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disease, which is occurring 15 to 20% of individuals after the age of 60. The symptoms are memory loss, unable to think and learn. Doctors use several methods to identify and diagnosis the disease. But it cannot be completely cured. For this reason the Ukrainian scientist discovered the Fullerene Water Solution and is injected into the hippocampus to reduce the β-amyloid peptide. We can assume that in the first half of the 21st century will be based on fullerene development for effective prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.


  1. Smalley, Richard (1996-12-07) Discovering the fullerene. Nobel lecture
  2. Kroto, H.W; Health, J.R; Brien, S.C; Curl, Smalley, R.E (1985). “C60 : Buckminsterfullerene”. Nature. 318(6042): 162-163.
  3. Smalley, R.E. (1997). Discovering the Fullerenes (Nobel lecture). Angewandte chemie. International Edition in English, 36(15), 1594-1661.
  4. Smalley, Great Balls of carbon, p.115
  5. B.C.Yadav and Ritesh Kumar, International journal of Nanotechnology and applications: 2008; 1(2): 15-24
  6. Ranian Bakry, Rainer M vallant, et al. International journal of Nanomedicine: 2007 Dec; 2(4): 639-649
  7. Villemagne VL, Burnham S, Bourgeat P, Brown B, Ellis KA, Salvado O, et al. Amyloids deposition, neurodegenerative and cognitive decline in sporadic Alzheimer’s disease: A prospective cohort study. Lancet Neurol 2013; 12 (4): 357-67
  8. Jack CR, Lowe VJ, Weigand SD, Wiste HJ, Senjem ML, Knopman DS, et al. Serial PIB and MRI in normal, mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease: Implications for sequence of pathological events in Alzheimer’s disease. Brain 2009; 132(5) 1355-65
  9. Knopam DS, Parisi JE, Salviati A, Floriach-Robert M et al. Neuropathology of cognitively normal elderly. J Neuropathol EXP. Neurol 2003; 62:1087-95
  10. Roberts R, Knopman DS. Classification epidemiology of MCI. Clin Geriatr Med 2003; 29:753-72.
  11. Ward A, Terdiff S, Dye C, Arrighi HM. Rate of conversion from prodromal Alzheimer’s disease to Alzheimer’s dementia; A systematic review of the literature. .Demnt Geriatr Cogn Dis Extra 2013; 3:322-32

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