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Scientists 'discover how red wine may defend against Alzheimer's'

Scientists 'discover how red wine may defend against Alzheimer's'
21st November 2008

A US research team believes it has provided an insight into how the consumption of red wine may offer some protection against the development of Alzheimer's disease.

Naturally occurring compounds in red wine called polyphenols block the formation of proteins which are involved in the development of toxic plaques thought to destroy brain cells, according to the study published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

In addition, the researchers think the polyphenols reduce the toxicity of existing plaques in the brain, further assisting cognitive processes.

Lead researcher David Teplow, professor of neurology at the University of California, says his teams findings "suggest that administration of the compound to Alzheimer's patients might block the development of these toxic aggregates, prevent disease development and also ameliorate existing disease".

The next step will be human clinical trials to further investigate the effects.

A separate study recently suggested that the substance in red wine known as resveratrol could be a key component of a future Alzheimer's treatment.

Scientists at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research said they hope to work with high doses of the substance itself, or a synthetic version of it, in the creation of potential new therapies.

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