Resveratrol, found in red grapes, may help prevent memory loss in the elderly
Resveratrol, a naturally occuring chemical touted for its potential to prevent heart disease, may also be helpfull in the prevention of age-related decline of memory, according to new research from Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine.
Ashok K. Shetty, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine and Director of Neurosciences at the Institute for Regenerative Medicine, has been studying the potential benefit of resveratrol, an antioxidant found in the skin of red grapes, as well as in red wine, peanuts, and some berries, and also available in pill form.
Shetty and his team believe resveratrol also has positive effects on the hippocampus, an area of the brain that is critical to functions such as memory, learning, and mood.
Because both humans and animals show a decline in cognitive capacity after middle age, the findings may have implications for treating memory loss in the elderly. Resveratrol may even be able to help people afflicted with severe neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.
In a study published online Jan. 28 in Scientific Reports, Shetty and his research team members reported that treatment with resveratrol had apparent benefits in terms of learning, memory, and mood function in aged rats.
“The results of the study were striking,” Shetty said. “They indicated that for the control rats who did not receive resveratrol, spatial learning ability was largely maintained but ability to make new spatial memories significantly declined between 22 and 25 months. By contrast, both spatial learning and memory improved in the resveratrol-treated rats.”