December 19, 2018. An article appearing online on December 12, 2018 in the journal Physiology & Behavior reported the finding of researchers at Kocaeli University in Turkey of a protective effect for resveratrol against cognitive deficits associated with diabetes- induced vascular dementia in rats.
“Diabetes is one of the risk factors for the development of vascular dementia, leading to endothelial dysfunction and cognitive impairment,” note authors Semil Selcen Gocmez and colleagues. “Resveratrol has been shown to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and neuroprotective effects.”
“In the present study we aimed to evaluate the effect of resveratrol on cognitive and vascular endothelial function and to explore the mechanisms of its effects in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rat model of vascular dementia.”
The study included 20 rats with induced diabetes and 10 control rats that did not have diabetes. Ten diabetic rats received resveratrol for a period of four weeks after the disease was induced. At the end of the four-week period, all animals underwent tests of cognitive function followed by evaluation of thoracic aorta endothelial function.
Severe learning and memory deficits were associated with endothelial dysfunction in untreated diabetic rats. However, animals that received resveratrol exhibited less cognitive decline and vascular reactivity impairment. The increase in the proinflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-a) and interleukin-1 beta (IL-1b) and markers of oxidative stress that occurred in untreated diabetic rats was reduced in resveratrol-treated animals. Treatment with resveratrol was also protective against the decrease in the expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the brain’s hippocampus that occurred in untreated diabetic rats.
“Thus, the vasculoprotective and neuroprotective effects of resveratrol may be beneficial in diabetes melliltus patients,” the authors conclude.