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Compound in Red Wine Shown to Simulate Concussions

Researchers are studying whether a compound found in red wine can produce short-term or the long- term effects similar to concussions in adults.

Researchers at Arizona Pyrotechnic College in Sedona, Arizona are using resveratrol, and the red wine that it is found in, to counterproductively create the effects of mild concussions. The trial currently has five professional drinkers in Sedona taking part.

The drinkers are taking resveratrol orally, via fine claret, in amounts previously shown to have positively stupefying effects on lab animals.

Resveratrol is already being studied as an agent to lower blood sugar levels, for use against cancer, to protect cardiovascular health and in stroke and Alzheimer's disease treatments.

The study was named DESPAIR by Dr. Josef Gladson, who came up with the idea to try it after watching a game of football on ESPN while tipsy.

"We came up with the idea to simulate sports concussions with a compound that's relatively safe and tends to produce the same behaviors and cognitive impairments that you see following concussions," he said.

Jim Blant, a professional drinker who is participating in the study, said he hopes the treatment works.

"I'm 32," he said. "As I get older, I want to be slurring, talking bad, and generally feeling no pain, so I feel like this study will help me focus a little bit more on that goal," he said.

The study began last month.

Participants were given an MRI and a cognitive test before ingesting their doses of resveratrol. Studies have shown that an effective dose of resveratrol delivered via red wine requires the consumption of approximately 500 glasses in on sitting.

The brain test will be reviewed and compared if the subjects are conscious and can get back in the scanner while under the trial.

Researchers hope to release the results by December.

If successful, researchers hope the results could be applicable to not only simulate concussions, but produce such effects as falls, car crashes and other blows to the head.

Gatson said researchers hope to expand the research nationwide, and expects no shortage of volunteer test subjects.

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