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Wine ingredient 'may be key to Alzheimer's treatment'

Wine ingredient 'may be key to Alzheimer's treatment'
18th November 2008

An ingredient in red grapes and wine could be a key factor in future treatments for Alzheimer's disease.

The substance, called resveratrol, can lower levels of amyloid beta which accumulate in the brains of Alzheimer's patients, according to scientists at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research.

Researchers at the institute hope to make use of either the substance itself, or synthetic versions of it, as part of treatments for the disease.

"Feinstein scientists are now screening libraries of substances to see whether there are any compounds that could mimic the effects found in this substance," commented Dr Valorie Vingtdeux, who is part of the research team.

Amounts of the ingredient found in grapes and wine are very small and they therefore do not represent a feasible treatment option, the expert added.

Meanwhile a separate team has suggested it has made its own discovery which could potentially lead to new treatments for Alzheimer's disease.

According to their findings published in the Experimental Biology and Medicine journal, scientists say they have identified a group of chemical compounds which slow down the degeneration of neurons, a process which is implicated in the development of the disease.

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