There is growing concern over the increasing instances of decline in cognitive abilities with aging in humans. The present study evaluated the benefits of the natural antioxidant, grape seed proanthocyanidin extract (GSPE) in treating the effects of age-related oxidative stress (OS) and accumulation of lipofuscin (LF) on the cognitive ability in rats. Female Wistar rats of 3- and 12-months of age received a daily oral supplement of GSPE until they attained 6- and 15-months of age. During this period, rats were tested for their cognitive ability. At the end of this period, blood glucose and markers of OS were assessed in the hippocampus. GSPE lowered blood glucose, lipid peroxidation, hydrogen peroxide level, and increased protein sulphydryl (P-SH) content in the hippocampus. In addition, GSPE significantly improved cognitive performance in the two age groups. These results demonstrate that the extent of OS-related LF accumulation is reducible by GSPE. They also suggest a critical role for GSPE as a neuroprotectant in the hippocampus and in preventing cognitive loss with aging.
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