Archive for the ‘Neurodegeneration’ Category
Recruiting for a double blind study to determine whether resveratrol can help people with Alzheimer’s disease is underway at 26 medical-academic institutions around the United States. Half the patients will receive 2 resveratrol supplement pills per day and the other half will receive two placebo pills. The study will last for one year, with an escalating dosage given every three months. The dose for the final three months will be two 1000 mg. pills per day.
The study is being led by Dr. Scott Turner of Georgetown University and is being funded by the National Institute on Aging.
Editor’s Note: Resveratrol has been shown to help animals with Alzheimer’s disease – most likely by reducing amyloid-beta plaque in their brains. Drug maker Genentech has developed a drug, Crenezumab, which also reduces amyloid-beta plaque. Soon it will launch a five year study in Columbia to determine if this drug can help people predisposed – by genetic factors – to becoming afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease.
One has to wonder; if the above mentioned resveratrol study demonstrates that resveratrol helps Alzheimer’s sufferers to a significant degree, and if other studies prove that resveratrol prevents humans from getting Alzheimer’s disease, what will be the future of Genentech’s drug? Resveratrol, if effective, will surely be a cheaper and more widely available alternative – through supplements, functional foods, and the like. Only time will tell. Let’s hope both therapies help to end this dreadful disease that afflicts over 5 million Americans and many more worldwide.
A recent Japanese study appearing in the Journal of Neurology offered new clues as to how Resveratrol fights Alzheimer’s disease and perhaps other forms of dementia. In particular, the study found that humans with Type 2 diabetes are 74% more likely to develop dementia and also have double the risk of suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
Further, the study found the highest risk of dementia/Alzheimer ‘s is in patients with the most dramatic glucose fluctuations after a meal. According to the study’s author, after a meal “glucose regulation is vital to prevent future dementia.”
For its part, Resveratrol might prevent or treat Alzheimer’s in two ways: 1) Resveratrol increases insulin sensitivity - thus stabilizing post meal glucose levels; and, 2) Resveratrol, a small molecule, passes the blood brain barrier and destroys the amyloid beta plaque that many scientists believe causes Alzheimer’s disease.
According to the World Alzheimer’s Report 2010, the global cost of dementia (e.g. Alzheimer’s disease is one form of dementia) will be $604 billion in 2010. What’s more, the report predicts that the number of people with dementia will double in the next twenty years. According to the study’s authors, “this is a wake-up call that Alzheimer's disease and other dementias are the single most significant health and social crisis of the 21st century.”
Resveratrol has been shown to reduce the amyloid beta plaque deposits on the brains of mice fed resveratrol orally (amyloid beta plaques are believed to cause Alzheimer's disease – also, the fact that oral administration of resveratrol reduced amyloid beta plaques indicates that resveratrol has the ability to cross the blood brain barrier). Further, a recent MIT study suggests that resveratrol may be able to improve memory.