A chemical that occurs naturally in grapes may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Scientists at Mount Sinai School of Medicine have suggested that antioxidants found in grapes called polyphenols could possibly protect the brain against cognitive decline.
The study, which was reported in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, found that a substance in the brain thought to contribute to the spread of Alzheimer’s was significantly reduced in the brains of mice after they were injected with grape seed extract.
Researchers released a statement explaining the importance of recognizing who is at risk for the disease in order for this preventative treatment to work.
“It will be critical to identify subjects who are at high risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, so that we can initiate treatments very early and possibly even in asymptomatic patients (patients with no current symptoms),” said lead researcher Giulio Maria Pasinetti, M.D., Ph.D.
The Alzheimer’s Association reports that age is the greatest risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, followed by family history. The organization also states that Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death in the U.S. and the only one among the top 10 that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed.