Page last updated: Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Cabernet Sauvignon reduces risk of Alzheimer's disease
A new study directed by Mount Sinai School of Medicine has found that moderate red wine consumption in a form of Cabernet Sauvignon may help reduce the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

People with AD exhibit elevated levels of beta-amyloid peptides that cause plaque buildup in the brain. This is the main characteristic of AD. An estimated 4.5 million Americans have AD, but presently, there are no known cures or effective preventive strategies.

While genetic factors are responsible in early-onset cases, they appear to play less of a role in late-onset-sporadic AD cases, the most common form of AD. Lifestyle factors such as diet and moderate wine consumption are receiving increasing attention for its potential preventative impact on AD.

Using mice, with AD-type beta-amyloid (Abeta) neuropathology, researchers tested whether moderate consumption of the red wine Cabernet Sauvignon changes AD-type neuropathology and cognitive deterioration. The wine used was delivered in a final concentration of approximately 6% ethanol. It was found that Cabernet Sauvignon significantly reduced AD-type deterioration of spatial memory function and Abeta neuropathology in mice relative to control mice that were treated with either a comparable amount of ethanol or water alone.

Cabernet Sauvignon was found to exert a beneficial effect by promoting non-amyloidogenic processing of amyloid precursor protein, which ultimately prevents the generation of AD beta-amyloid neuropathology.

“Our study is the first to report that moderate consumption of red wine in the form of Cabernet Sauvignon delivered in the drinking water for 7 months significantly reduces AD-type beta-amyloid neuropathology, and memory deterioration in 11-month-old transgenic mice that model AD,” reported researchers Dr. Giulio Maria Pasinetti and Dr. Jun Wang.

“This study supports epidemiological evidence indicating that moderate wine consumption, within the range recommended by the FDA dietary guidelines of one drink per day for women and two for men, may help reduce the relative risk for AD clinical dementia.”

Reference: “Moderate Consumption of Cabernet Sauvignon Attenuates beta-amyloid Neuropathology in a Mouse Model of Alzheimer’s Disease” will be published in the November 2006 issue of The FASEB Journal. The breakthrough study will also be presented at the “Society for Neuroscience Meeting” held in Atlanta, Georgia, October 14-18, 2006.

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