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Georgetown physician leads national resveratrol study for Alzheimer's disease
Date:5/13/2012

WASHINGTON A national, phase II clinical trial examining the effects of resveratrol on individuals with mild to moderate dementia due to Alzheimer's disease has begun as more than two dozen academic institutions recruit volunteers in the coming months. R. Scott Turner, M.D., Ph.D., director of Georgetown University Medical Center's Memory Disorders Program, is the lead investigator for the national study.

Resveratrol is a compound found in red grapes, red grape juice, red wine, chocolate, tomatoes and peanuts. Pre-clinical and pilot clinical research studies suggest that resveratrol may prevent diabetes, act as a natural cancer fighter, ward off cardiovascular disease, and prevent memory loss, but there has been no large definitive study of its effects in humans.

The risk of all of these diseases increases with aging. Animal studies suggest that resveratrol may impede molecular mechanisms of aging. Human population studies suggest several health benefits from modest daily consumption of red wine, but the mechanisms of action in the body are unknown.

"Most resveratrol studies showing any health benefits have been conducted in animal models, such as mice, and with doses that far exceed intake from sipping wine or nibbling on chocolate," says Turner. "With this clinical trial, we'll find out if daily doses of pure resveratrol can delay or alter memory deterioration and daily functioning in people with mild to moderate dementia due to Alzheimer's."

"During this study, we will also test whether resveratrol improves glucose and insulin metabolism in older individuals -- although those who already have diabetes will not be included in this study."

Resveratrol is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of Alzheimer's. It is not known if resveratrol can change the course of the disease.

Not everyone who enrolls in the study will receive resveratrol. Half of the participants wil
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Contact: Karen Mallet
km463@georgetown.edu
Georgetown University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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