Saturday, February 04, 2006

Both of my parents have Alzheimer's. It is a devastating disease that steals someone away form you a little at a time. Some people call it the "long goodbye." Currently there is no cure but there seem to be some things that one can do to protect themselves.

Resveratrol may help protect against Alzheimer's

A study published in the November 11 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry has shown that resveratrol, a compound found in grapes, red wine, peanuts and berries, lowers the levels of the amyloid-beta peptides, which cause much of the neurological damage associated with Alzheimer's disease. Researchers administered resveratrol to cells which produce human amyloid-beta and tested the compound's effectiveness by analyzing amyloid-beta levels inside and outside the cells. They found that amyloid-beta levels in the treated cells were much lower than those in untreated cells. It is thought that resveratrol acts by stimulating the degradation of these amyloid-beta peptides.

Although more research is needed, researchers suggest that this natural compound may have a therapeutic potential in Alzheimer's disease. Resveratrol is currently being researched for a potential role in fighting other human amyloid-related diseases such as Huntington's, Parkinson's and prion diseases.

J. Biol. Chem. Vol. 280; Issue 45: 37377-37382, November 11 2005.

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