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Exp Gerontol. 2017 Jan;87(Pt A):121-128. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2016.10.004. Epub 2016 Nov 14.

Examining the impact of grape consumption on brain metabolism and cognitive function in patients with mild decline in cognition: A double-blinded placebo controlled pilot study.

Author information

  • 1Ahmanson Translational Imaging Division, Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California Los Angeles, USA. Electronic address: leejoo36@gmail.com.
  • 2Ahmanson Translational Imaging Division, Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California Los Angeles, USA. Electronic address: naret@uci.edu.
  • 3Ahmanson Translational Imaging Division, Department of Molecular and Medical Pharmacology, David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California Los Angeles, USA. Electronic address: dsilver@ucla.edu.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Natural compounds in grapes such as resveratrol are known for their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Some studies have shown a potential role for grapes or wine in slowing cognitive decline and other effects of aging. However, well-controlled experimental data obtained in human subjects are still in need of further development. Here we aimed to systematically assess effects of grapes on regional cerebral metabolism.

METHODS:

Ten subjects with mild decline in cognition (mean, 72.2±4.7years; 50% female) were included in this analysis. Participants were randomized into an active grape formulation arm or a placebo arm which consumed a formulation free of polyphenols for six months. Cognitive performance was measured through neuropsychological assessments performed at baseline and 6months after initiation of therapy. Changes in brain metabolism occurring with each therapy regimen were assessed by brain PET scans with the radiotracer [F-18] fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG), obtained during initial evaluation and 6months later. Standardized volumes of interest (sVOI) and statistical parametric mapping (SPM) methods were applied to FDG-PET scans to identify significant regional cerebral metabolic changes.

RESULTS:

In contrast to participants taking the active grape formulation, who displayed no significant decline in metabolism, the placebo arm underwent significant metabolic decline in sVOI's of the right posterior cingulate cortex (p=0.01), and left superior posterolateral temporal cortex (p=0.04). SPM analyses also found significant declines in the placebo group, particularly in left prefrontal, cingulate, and left superior posterolateral temporal cortex (p<0.01) with stable brain metabolism in the active formulation arm. No significant differences were seen in scores on the neuropsychological battery of tests between the two groups. However, metabolism in right superior parietal cortex and left inferior anterior temporal cortex was correlated with improvements in attention/working memory, as measured with WAIS-III Digital Span within the active formulation group (r=-0.69, p=0.04).

CONCLUSIONS:

The placebo arm had declines in regions of the brain known to be significantly affected in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease, while the active formulation group was spared such decline. This suggests a protective effect of grapes against early pathologic metabolic decline.

KEYWORDS:

Dementia; Fluorodeoxyglucose; Metabolism; Positron emission tomography; Resveratrol

PMID:
27856335
DOI:
10.1016/j.exger.2016.10.004
[PubMed - in process]
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