A new study has revealed that a compound found in red wine can delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. The compound is also believed to have anti-aging effects.
To reach these conclusions, a team of US researchers picked out about 120 subjects who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and split them up in two (2) different groups. One group was asked to take a high dose of resveratrol, medication made from the red wine compound, the other was asked to take a placebo.
The amount of the red wine compound given to each patient on a daily dose was roughly the equivalent of what can be taken from 1.000 bottles of red wine.
The researchers say that resveratrol seems to affect the levels of amyloid-beta40 (also known as Abeta40), a protein which has less and less of a presence in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) as Alzheimer’s disease progresses. The cerebrospinal fluid surrounds the spinal cord and the brain. One popular theory among field experts is that amyloid-beta40 builds up in the brain of Alzheimer’s patients, rather than in their cerebrospinal fluid.
The study subjects who were asked to take a placebo saw a decline in the levels of amyloid-beta40 found in their cerebrospinal fluid. However, the study subjects who were asked to take resveratrol saw little to no change in the levels of amyloid-beta40 found in their cerebrospinal fluid.
Based on the information they have so far, the researchers theorized that resveratrol prevents large amounts of amyloid-beta40 from depositing in the brain. But they also admitted that the theory needs to be verified and reinforced by future research that focuses specifically on the levels of the amyloid protein found in the brain.
Right now health experts aren’t sure whether or not resveratrol slows down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, and they advice people to exercise caution until they can lean more about the effects of the drug.
Dr. R. Scott Turner, study researcher and director of the Memory Disorders Program from Georgetown University’s Medical Center (Washington D.C.), gave a statement saying that “I’m not recommending that people go out and buy resveratrol and start taking it. We need further studies to see if it really does have a benefit”.
But what may turn out to prove resveratrol’s efficiency, if it exists, is the way it acts – through a brain pathway that no other Alzheimer’s drugs use. Most of these meds attack amyloid-beta40 directly, whereas resveratrol attacks them indirectly.
While the research team is still working on determining how useful resveratrol truly is, Dr. Turner said one thing’s for sure – the drug is helping health experts see “a new mechanism, or a new pathway, towards Alzheimer’s treatments. This is targeting amyloid in an indirect way”.
He and his team proposed that resveratrol may activate a number of proteins known as “sirtuins”, which some believe to also have anti-aging effects.
Out of the five (5) cognitive tests that the subjects took, only one was able to reveal a difference in the thinking abilities of the two (2) groups. The subjects who were asked to take resveratrol experienced less decline in their abilities to cook, get dressed, use a phone, and perform other small, daily activities.
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