28 August 2015 In Dementia

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a devastating disorder that strikes 1 in 10 Americans over the age of 65, and almost half of all Americans over 85 years old. The odds of an individual developing AD double every five years after the age of 65. While it has become increasingly common to meet heart attack or cancer survivors, there are no AD survivors. There is mounting evidence that dietary polyphenols, including resveratrol, may beneficially influence AD. Based on this consideration, several studies reported in the last few years were designed to validate sensitive and reliable translational tools to mechanistically characterize brain bioavailable polyphenols as disease-modifying agents to help prevent the onset of AD dementia and other neurodegenerative disorders. Several research groups worldwide with expertise in AD, plant biology, nutritional sciences, and botanical sciences have reported very high quality studies that ultimately provided the necessary information showing that polyphenols and their metabolites, which come from several dietary sources, including grapes, cocoa etc., are capable of preventing AD. The ultimate goal of these studies was to provide novel strategies to prevent the disease even before the onset of clinical symptoms. The studies discussed in this review article provide support that the information gathered in the last few years of research will have a major impact on AD prevention by providing vital knowledge on the protective roles of polyphenols, including resveratrol. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Resveratrol: Challenges in translating pre-clinical findings to improved patient outcomes.

05 March 2015 In Dementia

BACKGROUND: Studies of older persons show consumption of light-to-moderate amounts of alcohol is positively associated with cognitive function and, separately, is negatively associated with total brain volume (TBV). This is paradoxical as generally, cognitive function is positively associated with TBV. We examined the relationships of TBV, global cognitive function (GCF), and alcohol consumption in a population-based cohort of 3,363 men and women (b. 1907-1935) participating in the Age Gene/Environment Susceptibility-Reykjavik Study (2002-2006) and who were free of dementia or mild cognitive impairment

METHODS: Drinking status (never, former, and current) and current amount of alcohol consumed were assessed by questionnaire. GCF is a composite score derived from a battery of cognitive tests. TBV, standardized to head size, is estimated quantitatively from brain magnetic resonance imaging.

RESULTS: Among women and not men, adjusting for demographic and cardiovascular risk factors, current drinkers had significantly higher GCF scores than abstainers and former drinkers (p < .0001); and GCF was associated with amount consumed. TBV was not associated with drinking status or amount consumed in men or women. GCF and TBV did significantly differ in their associations across alcohol categories (p interaction < .001). Within categories of alcohol intake, GCF and TBV were positively associated.

CONCLUSIONS: The difference in associations of alcohol intake to brain structure and function suggests there may be unmeasured factors that contribute to maintaining better GCF relative to TBV. However, at higher levels of reasonable alcohol consumption, there may be factors leading to reduced brain volume.

23 January 2015 In Cancer

BACKGROUND: Studies on the relation between alcohol consumption and risk of colorectal adenoma (CRA), a precursor of colorectal cancer, have been inconsistent. AIM: A systematic review with meta-analysis was conducted to investigate the association and the dose-response of alcohol with CRA.

METHODS: A literature search was performed on PubMed to identify relevant studies published up to January 2014. A fixed or random effects model was used to estimate summarised relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the association between alcohol intake and CRA risk. Statistical heterogeneity between studies was assessed with the chi(2) statistic and quantified by I(2).

RESULTS: Twenty-three case-control studies and two cohort studies were included in the meta-analysis. All drinkers were associated with 17% increased risk for CRA, compared with nondrinkers or occasional alcohol drinkers. The dose-response analysis demonstrated that for drinkers of 10, 25, 50 and 100 g/day alcohol consumption, the estimated RRs of CRA were 1.02 (95% CI 0.89-1.16), 1.06 (95% CI 0.92-1.20), 1.16 (95% CI 1.02-1.33) and 1.61 (95% CI 1.42-1.84) respectively, in comparison with non-/occasional drinkers. The risks were consistent in the subgroup analyses of gender and site of adenoma, while it was stronger in European studies than the studies in the US and Asia.

CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that alcohol intake is related to a significant increase of risk for colrectal adenoma.

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