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Could grape seed stop Alzheimer's disease? Research shows promise

Kathleen Blanchard's picture
Grape seed and Alzheimer's

Extracts from grape-seed might prevent, treat Alzheimer's disease

Grape seed contains naturally occurring polyphenols that might prevent and even treat Alzheimer's disease.

Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, in collaboration with a University of Minnesota team have launched a first study to see if polyphenols in grape seed that have powerful antioxidant properties could prevent β-amyloid (Aβ) peptide, known to cause neurotoxicity associated with Alzheimer's disease.

In a study led by Giulio Maria Pasinetti, MD, PhD from Mount Sinai and Karen Hsiao Ashe, MD, PhD, from University of Minnesota, scientists gave mice grape seed polyphenol extracts. The mice were engineered to develop the same brain changes that occur with Alzheimer's disease - memory deficits and Aβ neurotoxins.

After the treatments, Aβ*56, which has been shown to lead to memory deficits in mice, was substantially lower. The finding is published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

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Pasinetti says “Since naturally occurring polyphenols are also generally commercially available as nutritional supplements and have negligible adverse events even after prolonged periods of treatment, this new finding holds significant promise as a preventive method or treatment, and is being tested in translational studies in Alzheimer’s disease patients."

The authors also note the importance of finding a biomarker to identify those at high risk for Alzheimer's disease.

“It will be critical to identify subjects who are at high risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, so that we can initiate treatments very early and possibly even in asymptomatic patients,” said Dr. Pasinetti

Pasinetti says grape seed polyphenol extracts also show promise for early Alzheimer's disease.

Red wine studies have suggested grape seed compounds could thwart progression of Alzheimer’s disease. The new study shows grape seed extracts protect the brain from beta-amyloid that cause neurotoxicity associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

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