How Red Wine Might Prevent and Treat Alzheimer's Disease

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Red wine and the treatment of alzheimer's disease

Red wine has many health benefits. We know it is good for cardiovascular health. Alzheimer's disease researchers at UCLA have now discovered how red wine might prevent and provide treatment existing Alzheimer's disease. David Teplow, a UCLA professor of neurology, and colleagues discuss their findings in the Nov. 21 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry. It seems the polyphenols, present in red wine actually block the formation of plaque that forms in the brain, leading to tumors and Alzheimer's disease, preventing cognitive decline as we age.

Patients with Alzheimer's disease are routinely found to have amyloid plaques (Aß40 and Aß42) in the brain. Much research has been devoted to finding ways to halt and reverse deposits of Aß40 and Aß42 in the brain to prevent and treat Alzheimer's disease. Polyphenols can be found in natural forms not only in red wine, but also from cocoa, plants, tea, nuts and berries. We know that polyphenols are beneficial to health, but until now, scientists haven't understood exactly how they work.

Dr. Teplow tested mice in the laboratory, providing them with polyphenols from grapes. They were able to watch how Aß40 and Aß42 deposits fold up and kill nerve fibers in mice. When they provided the cells with polyphenols, such as those found in red wine, the effect was subdued.


According to Dr. Teplow, "What we found is pretty straightforward," Teplow said. "If the Aß proteins can't assemble, toxic aggregates can't form, and thus there is no toxicity. Our work in the laboratory, and Mt. Sinai's Dr. Giulio Pasinetti's work in mice, suggest that administration of the compound to Alzheimer's patients might block the development of these toxic aggregates, prevent disease development and also ameliorate existing disease."

The news on the benefits of red wine on Alzheimer's disease may greatly help with prevention as well as targeted treatments for Alzheimer's disease that involve the same natural compounds as found in red wine.

Human trials are expected. The researchers are optimistic. Currently, no treatment exists that can modify Alzheimer's disease once it develops. The benefits of polyphenols from red wine may have very important applications for preventing and treating Alzheimer's disease.

Source of this study on Alzheimer's Disease and red wine is UCLA Health.