According to a new study at the Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine, the much talked about compound found in red wine, grapes and more – resveratrol – may help prevent age-related memory loss.
Resveratrol has been in the news before after scientists discovered its heart health benefits. Studies have linked it to reducing inflammation, preventing the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol, and reducing the clots that can lead to a heart attack.
More recently, researchers have been studying the powerful antioxidant benefits of resveratrol and their impact on the hippocampus, the area of the brain that is critical to memory. The study was published in January in Scientific Reports and outlines the team’s findings. They found that treatment with resveratrol had benefits in terms of learning, memory and mood function in aged rats. The control rats who did not receive resveratrol were able to maintain spatial learning, but their ability to make new spatial memories significantly declined. In contrast, both spatial learning and memory improved in the rats treated with resveratrol.
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 beneficial for those suffering from severe neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, according to the report. The study provides new evidence that treatment with resveratrol later in life can help improve memory in old age.
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