(Georgetown University Medical Center) Resveratrol, given to Alzheimer's patients, appears to restore the integrity of the blood-brain barrier, reducing the ability of harmful immune molecules secreted by immune cells to infiltrate from the body into brain tissues, say researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center. The reduction in neuronal inflammation slowed the cognitive decline of patients, compared to a matching group of placebo-treated patients with the disorder…
The Alzheimer's disease brain is damaged by inflammation, thought to be due to a reaction to the buildup of abnormal proteins … linked to destruction of neurons. Researchers believe that heightened inflammation -- which was historically thought to come only from "resident" brain immune cells -- worsens the disease. According to the researchers, this study suggests that some of the immune molecules that can cause inflammation in the blood can enter the brain through a leaky blood-brain barrier.
"These findings suggest that resveratrol imposes a kind of crowd control at the border of the brain. The agent seems to shut out unwanted immune molecules that can exacerbate brain inflammation and kill neurons," says neurologist Charbel Moussa, MD, PhD, scientific and clinical research director of the GUMC Translational Neurotherapeutics Program. "These are very exciting findings because it shows that resveratrol engages the brain in a measurable way, and that the immune response to Alzheimer's disease comes, in part, from outside the brain."
Resveratrol is a naturally occurring compound found in foods such as red grapes, red wine, raspberries and dark chocolate.
Community: Resveratrol is available as a food supplement, if you’re interested.[Click the title, above, to post a comment.]