From Red Wine to Grape Seeds; The Search of Therapeutic Strategies in Alzheimers Disease

Over the past few years researchers at the NCCAM-NIH funded Center of Excellence for Research in Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Alzheimer's Disease directed by Dr. Pasinetti at Mount Sinai in New York wanted to determine whether the FDA's recommended daily servings of red wine, approximately one glass for women and two glasses for men, might have the same effect on health that studies and surveys of populations had shown in the past.

Thus, Dr. Pasinetti and his colleagues set about unraveling nearly 5000 compounds contained in the red wine and explored the possibility of developing ‘wine mimetic pills’ that would replace the beneficial “glass” of red wine a day in the disease prevention.

Dr. Giulio Maria Pasinetti and his collaborator Dr. Jun Wang, through a collaboration between the Research Center at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Dr. Shrikhande at Polyphenolics, a division of Constellation Wine US, a major producer of biologically active grape products, tested the hypothesis that certain molecules contained in red wine, in particular in grape seeds currently being developed with the name of Meganatural AZ, might offset disease progression in mice genetically modified to develop Alzheimer’ disease.

Dr. Pasinetti found that Meganatural AZ grape seed extracts significantly attenuated Alzheimer’s disease - type cognitive deterioration in the Alzheimer’ disease mice through mechanisms that prevents the formation of a more complex form of a molecule known as amyloid in the brain.
The implications of these studies, however, are not limited to patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, amyloid is present in everyone's brain and whenever it comes together in a more complex structure it makes the brain to function less efficiently like in Alzheimer’ disease. As a result, Meganatural AZ compounds’ ability to inhibit the formation of such “more complex” amyloid structures suggests that Meganatural AZ from red grapes might even help prevent memory loss in people that did not yet developed Alzheimer's disease.

Dr. Pasinetti says he and his colleagues are one step closer to understanding the exact molecule in Meganatural AZ that is responsible for protecting memory and by extension closer to test whether Meganatural AZ can be used in patients affected by Alzheimer's disease.

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