Red Wine May be Good for Those Who Suffer from Alzheimer's
Pictured: Bob Sessions, with dog Wesley, has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and will be participating in a trial of resveratrol as a treatment.
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Sessions enrolls Wednesday in a first-of-a-kind government-sponsored study examining whether resveratrol can alter or delay the destruction of the brain in people with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease. Sessions is one of 5.3 million Americans who have Alzheimer's, a fatal illness that has no treatment or cure. He was diagnosed 7½ years ago and still is in the early stages.
"If this research can help anyone, I will feel like I have contributed to a good cause," says Sessions, a former Methodist minister and academic. "I have lost family members to this disease and don't want to see my daughters or grandchildren suffer the same fate."
During the next 12 months, Sessions of Gaithersburg, Md., will make 10 visits to Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C., one of 26 sites nationwide affiliated with the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study. Participants will be given either a placebo or capsules of pure resveratrol, found in the skin of red grapes, tomatoes, dark chocolate and nuts. Studies on non-humans have shown it activitates a gene that protects the body and brain from aging. The greatest risk factor for Alzheimer's is aging. Researchers will do baseline tests to identify biological markers of the disease and then other tests to determine if it is progressing.
"Alzheimer's is not an overnight process," says Laurie Ryan, program director for the National Institute on Aging's Alzheimer's Disease Clinical Trials program. "Symptoms don't appear until years after the disease has started. So the thought is if we can delay it from starting or progressing, we can add quality years to the end of life."
By the end of the study, participants receiving the resveratrol will be given 1,000 mg twice daily. That level of dosing can't be duplicated by sipping wine or eating bits of chocolate.
SOURCE: Janice Lloyd, USA TODAY
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