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Wednesday, 6 January, 1999, 21:21 GMT
A daily dose of wine could improve the brain
Wine may help protect against Alzheimer's and Parkinson's
A glass and a half of wine a day could help improve the little grey cells and stop the progression of brain disorders, according to new research.

Scientists at the Human Institute at the University of Milan say a chemical produced by wine could help a brain enzyme to function by up to seven fold.

According to the New Scientist, Alberto Bertelli and his colleagues have found that the chemical resveratrol, found in grapes and wine which fights infection in vines, helps the enzyme Map-kinase to regenerate neural cells.

They tested the chemical on human neural cells in laboratory conditions and found it made them grow extensions which helped them to connect up with each other.

Mental confusion

Experts believe this could help in the treatment of diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's where the links between neural cells break down, causing mental confusion, dementia and muscle problems.

"By daily reinforcing these contacts, we can prevent neurodegeneration," said Alberto Bertelli.

The results of the research were presented at the first International Congress on Health and Wine in Florence in December.

Previous research published in the American Journal of Epidemiology last year also showed moderate daily wine drinking could stop people from developing neurodegenerative diseases.

A Danish study suggested resveratrol could help protect against cancers of the upper respiratory tract and other research shows it could protect against heart disease.

See also:

02 Sep 98 | Health
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03 Dec 98 | Health
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