Grape seed polyphenols, a natural antioxidant, may help prevent the development or delay the progression of Alzheimer's disease.
Giulio Maria Pasinetti, MD, PhD, The Saunder Family Professor in Neurology, and Professor of Psychiatry and Geriatrics and Adult Development at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, spearheaded the research.
This is the first study to evaluate the ability of grape-derived polyphenols to prevent the generation of a specific form of Š-amyloid (AŠ) peptide, a substance in the brain long known to cause the neurotoxicity associated with Alzheimer disease.
In partnership with a team at the University of Minnesota led by Karen Hsiao Ashe, Dr. Pasinetti and his collaborators administered grape seed polyphenolic extracts to mice genetically determined to develop memory deficits and AŠ neurotoxins similar to those found in Alzheimer's disease.
They found that the brain content of the AŠ*56, a specific form of AŠ previously implicated in the promotion of Alzheimer's disease memory loss, was substantially reduced after treatment.
"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," concluded Dr. Pasinetti.
The study was published online in the current issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.