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Compound in Red Wine Effective Against Alzheimer’s

July 29, 2016  –  A daily dose of resveratrol, a substance that occurs naturally in red wine, dark chocolate, blueberries and raspberries, has been found to decrease swelling that results from inflammation in the Alzheimer’s brain.  According to Medical News Today, resveratrol was given to patients in a trial and found to impose a control function at the blood-brain barrier where harmful molecules gain access to the brain in Alzheimer’s patients.

Researchers at Georgetown University conducted a study of 119 patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s who were given a daily dose of resveratrol, the equivalent of 1,000 bottles of wine, over a 12-month period. The patients experienced 50 percent reduction in a fluid called MMP-9.  Higher levels of MMP-9 are known to cause a breakdown of the blood-brain barrier – a blockade that normally prevents proteins and other molecules from entering the brain.  This study was reported in 2015.  In a newer study, 19 patients were given resveratrol and 19 others a placebo producing the same results. It examined specific molecules in the cerebrospinal fluid taken from participants with biomarker-confirmed Alzheimer’s disease.

The findings were presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2016 in Toronto, Canada, earlier this week. Dr. R. Scott Turner, the lead investigator of the study, while acknowledging it is an exciting result, warned that it was a small study and further research is needed for the proper interpretation.

Alzheimer’s affects more than five million Americans.  Every 67 seconds, a new case develops.