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Study indicates grape seed extract may reduce cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer's disease
Date:6/17/2008

A compound found in grape seed extract reduces plaque formation and resulting cognitive impairment in an animal model of Alzheimer's disease, new research shows. The study appears in the June 18 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience.

Lead study author Giulio Pasinetti, MD, PhD, of Mount Sinai School of Medicine and colleagues found that the grape seed extract prevents amyloid beta accumulation in cells, suggesting that it may block the formation of plaques. In Alzheimer's disease, amyloid beta accumulates to form toxic plaques that disrupt normal brain function.

The researchers tested a grape seed polyphenolic extract product sold as MegaNatural-AZ, made by Polyphenolics, which in part supported the study. Polyphenolic compounds are antioxidants naturally found in wine, tea, chocolate, and some fruits and vegetables. To determine whether the extract could mitigate the effects of Alzheimer's disease, the researchers used mice genetically modified to develop a condition similar to Alzheimer's disease. They exposed pre-symptomatic "Alzheimer's mice" to the extract or placebo daily for five months. The daily dose of the polyphenolic extract was equivalent to the average amount of polyphenolics consumed by a person on a daily basis.

After the five-month period, Alzheimer's mice were at an age at which they normally develop signs of disease. However, the extract exposure reduced amyloid beta accumulation and plaque formation in brains of Alzheimer's mice and also reduced cognitive decline: compared to placebo, extract-exposed Alzheimer's mice showed improved spatial memory. These data suggest that before symptoms begin, the grape seed extract may prevent or postpone plaque formation and slow cognitive deterioration associated with Alzheimer's disease.

Moderate consumption of red wineapproximately one glass for women and two glasses for men, according to the Food and Drug Administrationand its constituent grape comp
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Contact: Todd Bentsen
tbentsen@sfn.org
202-962-4000
Society for Neuroscience
Source:Eurekalert

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