Red wine compound can slow brain ageing

A substance found in red wine can help keep the brain young in a similar way to exercise and a low-calorie diet, scientists have discovered.

Resveratrol, which occurs naturally in the skin of fruits including grapes, blueberries and mulberries, can keep muscles supple and help protect connections between neurons in the brain, according to researchers at Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute.

Tests on elderly mice showed the compound significantly slowed brain ageing by preserving synapses called neuromuscular junctions, which relay movement signals from the brain to the muscles. Mice who had been given resveratrol from one year of age had more youthful neuromuscular junction synapses at two years old than those who had not.

“I believe that we are getting closer to tapping into mechanisms to slow age-induced degeneration of neuronal circuits,” said the study’s primary author, assistant professor Gregorio Valdez. 

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