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Mind and Circulation

Nutrients improve cognition in Parkinson's Disease, and in postmenopause

Pycnogenol reduced symptoms in Parkinson’s

Parkinson’s disease (PD) affects nerve cells in the brain that control movement, memory, and thinking. Normally, these cells produce dopamine, a chemical messenger that sends movement signals to the body. PD impairs these cells, reducing dopamine. In this study, 43 people with mild, slow-progressing PD for at least one year continued to take the standard PD treatments carbidopa-levodopa, with or without 150 mg of Pycnogenol® per day.

After four weeks, those in the Pycnogenol group had significantly better motor control of body movements, more stable posture, and improved cognitive function compared to those not taking Pycnogenol.

A common symptom in the group was fluid retention and swelling in the extremities, called edema. By the end of the study, 14 percent of those not taking Pycnogenol were free from edema compared to 81 percent of those taking Pycnogenol.

Reference: Journal of Neurosurgical Sciences; January, 2020, Published Online

Resveratrol boosts cognition in postmenopause

Blood flow in the brain naturally declines with age, and maintaining good cerebral circulation can preserve cognition. In this study, 129 women, postmenopausal for at least one year, took a placebo or 75 mg of resveratrol twice per day for 12 months, then switched groups for another 12 months.

Compared to the placebo phases, while taking resveratrol, cognitive performance improved, and the decline in brain blood circulation slowed. Doctors also saw lower fasting blood sugar levels for resveratrol.

In two tests of cognition, during the resveratrol phases, participants had faster information-processing speed, and could more easily switch between two different concepts, and think about multiple concepts, compared to placebo.

Discussing the findings, doctors said during the resveratrol phases, resting brain blood flow improved, and brain blood vessels were more flexible compared to placebo, suggesting resveratrol may slow age-related cognitive decline, and preserve cognitive function.

Reference: Nutrients; 2020, Vol. 12, No. 3, 828

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