Tags: Alzheimer's/Dementia | Alzheimers | disease | red | wine | resveratrol

Red Wine Compound Found to Slow Alzheimer's

Red Wine Compound Found to Slow Alzheimer's
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Thursday, 28 July 2016 11:05 AM

Resveratrol, a naturally occurring compound found in red wine, appears to help strengthen the brain against Alzheimer’s disease, a new study finds.

The Alzheimer’s brain is one damaged by inflammation, which is thought to be due to a reaction to the buildup of abnormal proteins linked to destruction of neurons. 

Researchers believed that heightened inflammation -- which was historically thought to come only from "resident" brain immune cells -- worsens the disease. But this new study suggests that some of the immune molecules that can cause inflammation in the blood can enter the brain through a leaky blood-brain barrier. The blood brain barrier is a filter that protects the brain from harmful substances.

This study builds upon a previous research by Georgetown University Medical Center researchers on 119 patients to look at the effects of resveratrol, which occurs not only in red wine, but also in grapes, dark chocolate and raspberries.

This initial study, published in 2015, was the largest nationwide phase II clinical trial to study high-dose pure synthetic (pharmaceutical-grade) resveratrol in individuals with mild to moderate Alzheimer's.

This new study examines specific molecules in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) taken from participants with biomarker-confirmed Alzheimer's disease -- 19 were given a placebo, and 19 treated daily for a year with resveratrol, equivalent to the amount found in about 1,000 bottles of red wine.

Previous studies with animals found that age-related diseases--including Alzheimer's -- can be prevented or delayed by long-term caloric restriction (consuming two-thirds the normal caloric intake). The researchers studied resveratrol because it mimics the effects of caloric restriction by also activating proteins called sirtuins.

In this new study, the researchers found that treated patients had a 50 percent reduction in matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) levels in the cerebrospinal fluid. MMP-9 is decreased when sirtuin1 (SIRT1) is activated. High levels of MMP-9 cause a breakdown in the blood-brain barrier, allowing proteins and molecules from the body to enter the brain. Normally low MMP-9 levels maintain the barrier.

Although resveratrol is unlikely to be a complete treatment in itself, because it does not inhibit the destruction of brain neurons, it should be tested further, the researchers say of their latest findings, which were presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference 2016 in Toronto.

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A new study finds that compound found in red wine could help strengthen the brain against Alzheimer's disease.
Alzheimers, disease, red, wine, resveratrol
Thursday, 28 July 2016 11:05 AM
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