Public Release: 

Potential new role for red grape seeds in treatment of Alzheimer's disease

The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine

Mount Sinai researchers have discovered that polyphenolics derived from red grape seeds may be useful agents to prevent or treat Alzheimer's disease (AD). The new study entitled, "Grape derived polyphenolics prevent Aâ oligomerization and attenuate cognitive deterioration in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease," was published in The Journal of Neuroscience. This new study explored the possibility of developing 'wine mimetic pills' that would replace the recommended beneficial glass of red wine a day for AD prevention.

"Alzheimer's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive impairments in memory and cognition," said Dr. Giulio Maria Pasinetti, senior author and Director of the NCCAM-NIH funded Center of Excellence for Research in Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Alzheimer's Disease at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. "The study used a naturally derived grape seed polyphenolic extract and demonstrated its efficacy to reduce AD-type Aâ neuropathology as well as cognitive deterioration in the Tg2576 AD mouse model. This natural compound is immediately available to be tested in AD clinical settings to prevent or treat AD."

Over the past few years researchers at Mount Sinai's Center of Excellence set out 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 positive health effect that studies and surveys of populations had shown in the past. They are currently investigating nearly 5000 compounds contained in red wine.

This new study explored the possibility of developing 'wine mimetic pills' that would replace the beneficial glass of red wine a day for AD prevention. Dr. Pasinetti and his collaborator Dr. Jun Wang of Mount Sinai, through a partnership between the Research Center at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Dr. Anil Shrikhande, the Director of the Polyphenolics Division of Constellation Brands, a major producer of biologically active grape products, tested the hypothesis that certain molecules contained in red wine, in particular in red grape seeds currently being developed with the name of Meganatural AZ, might offset disease progression in mice genetically modified to develop Alzheimer' disease.

"Meganatural AZ grape seed extracts significantly reduced 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," said Dr. Pasinetti. "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. "

Mount Sinai researchers believe they 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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This study was completed in collaboration with the Polyphenolics Division of Constellation Brands, Department of Veterans Affairs, Japan Human Science Foundation, NIH, NCCAM and Alzheimer's Association.

About The Mount Sinai Medical Center

The Mount Sinai Medical Center encompasses The Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai School of Medicine. The Mount Sinai Hospital is one of the nation's oldest, largest and most-respected voluntary hospitals. Founded in 1852, Mount Sinai today is a 1,171-bed tertiary-care teaching facility that is internationally acclaimed for excellence in clinical care. Last year, nearly 50,000 people were treated at Mount Sinai as inpatients, and there were nearly 450,000 outpatient visits to the Medical Center.

Mount Sinai School of Medicine is internationally recognized as a leader in groundbreaking clinical and basic-science research, as well as having an innovative approach to medical education. With a faculty of more than 3,400 in 38 clinical and basic science departments and centers, Mount Sinai ranks among the top 20 medical schools in receipt of National Institute of Health (NIH) grants.

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