Grape Seed extract reduces cognitive decline in animal model of Alzheimer's disease

July 01, 2008

     Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York have discovered that administering Grape Seed Polyphenols reduces amyloid beta aggregation in the brain and slows cognitive impairment in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. Accumulation of amyloid beta compounds in the brains of Alzheimer's disease patients leads to the formation of plaques that are believed to be responsible for the memory loss and dementia that occurs with the disease.

     For the current study, Giulio Pasinetti, MD, PhD, of Mount Sinai's Departments of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, and his associates used mice that were genetically modified to dependably develop Alzheimer's disease. The animals were divided to receive a Polyphenolic Grape Seed Extract or a placebo for five months prior to the usual age at which signs of the disease develop. The dose of extract used in the study was equivalent to the daily amount of polyphenolics consumed by the average person.

      At the end of the treatment period, beta-amyloid accumulation was significantly reduced in the brains of animals that received the polyphenolic extract compared with the placebo group. The animals also demonstrated improved spatial memory compared with those that did not receive the extract, indicating less cognitive decline.

     In previous experimentation conducted by Dr Pasinetti, red wine was found to limit cognitive decline in the Alzheimer's disease mouse model. Research carried out by Dr Pasinetti's team has sought to identify the compounds in red wine's nearly 5,000 molecules that are responsible for its benefits. "Our intent is to develop a highly tolerable, nontoxic, orally available treatment for the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's dementia," states Dr Pasinetti. The study is published in the June 18, 2008 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience.