September 20, 2006

Cabernet Sauvignon-drinking mice protected from Alzheimer's disease

A report scheduled for publication in the November 2006 issue of The FASEB Journal (Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology)describes the finding of Dr Giulio Maria Pasinetti and Dr Jun Wang of Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York that drinking the red wine Cabernet Sauvignon prevented amyloid-beta neuropathology and memory loss in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease (AD). The results will also be presented in Atlanta next month at the Society for Neuroscience Meeting, which will be held October 14-18.

The researchers used mice bred to develop plaque buildup in the brain resulting from beta-amyloid peptides, which is the primary characteristic of Alzheimer's disease. Beginning at seven months of age, Cabernet Sauvignon or ethanol was added to the animals' drinking water for four months. A control group of mice received drinking water to which neither substance was added.

Animals who received wine-enhanced water were found to have a reduction in the loss of spatial memory function which occurs in Alzheimer's disease as well as reduced amyloid neuropathology compared to mice who received ethanol or plain water. It was discovered that Cabernet Sauvignon promoted nonamyloidogenic processing of amyloid precursor protein, preventing the generation of amyloid.

"Our study is the first to report that moderate consumption of red wine in a form of Cabernet Sauvignon delivered in the drinking water for approximately 7 months significantly reduces AD-type beta-amyloid neuropathology, and memory deterioration in approximately 11-month-old transgenic mice that model AD," Drs Pasinetti and Wang announced. "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" they conclude.