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

ounds has reported health benefits, particularly for cardiovascular function. Pasinetti previously found that red wine reduced cognitive decline in mice genetically modified to develop Alzheimer's disease. In subsequent studies, Pasinetti and colleagues have attempted to isolate which of the nearly 5,000 molecules contained in red wine are important in disease prevention. "Our intent is to develop a highly tolerable, nontoxic, orally available treatment for the prevention and treatment of Alzeheimer's dementia," Pasinetti said.

"The potential of natural compounds to provide real health benefits to brain function is only now beginning to be realized by brain researchers. The lesson they may eventually learn is that sometimes you just can't improve upon Mother nature," said Gary Arendash, PhD, of The Byrd Alzheimer's Institute, an expert unaffiliated with the study.

Chemical analysis showed that the major polyphenol components in the study's grape seed extract product are catechin and epicatechin, which are also abundant in tea and cocoa. These components differ from resveratrol, a polyphenol that has been reported to reduce amyloid beta secretion in cells and generally increase lifespan by mimicking calorie restriction. Resveratrol appears to be effective only at extremely high doses, which may limit its use in people. In contrast, the catechins in the extract product studied appear to be effective at much lower doses.

Karen Hsiao Ashe, MD, PhD, at the University of Minnesota and Minneapolis VA Medical Center, another expert unaffiliated with the study, cautioned that additional research must be completed before these findings translate to a human population. "Unanswered questions pertaining to the polyphenolic extract's use in humans to prevent Alzheimer's disease include: when to start taking it, for how long, how much to take, and most importantly, how does a person know if it is helping to prevent the aggregation of amyloid beta protei
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Contact: Todd Bentsen
tbentsen@sfn.org
202-962-4000
Society for Neuroscience
Source:Eurekalert

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