Title: Research of natural compounds: The crossroads between promotion of health and prevention of age-related neurodegeneration with polyphenols to avoid the catastrophic cliff of neuronal failure
Biography: Giulio Maria Pasinetti
Polyphenols are a large and diverse group of naturally occurring compounds widely distributed in many plant-derived foods and beverages. Polyphenols are receiving increasing attention for their potential role in the promotion of resilience in response to stress-induced psychological impairment and cognitive deterioration. In particular, preclinical evidence demonstrated the efficacy of certain polyphenols, acting either individually or in combination, to modulate multiple diverse mechanisms relevant to depression and anxiety, which also pose a risk to neurodegeneration such as Alzheimer’s disease, implicating the potential for novel development of polyphenols for multi-target engagement. In spite of the increasing efforts committed to clinical testing of polyphenols, these efforts are hindered by limited knowledge of polyphenol bioavailability, specific forms of brain-bioavailable bioactive polyphenols (including polyphenol metabolites) and their underlying mechanisms of actions. The overall goal of this presentation is to provide an overview on the “state of the art” on the development of polyphenols and eventually their translation into the clinical setting. In particular, I will discuss the mechanistic implications of brain-bioavailable bioactive polyphenol metabolites in modulating key physiological processes that are relevant in preventative and therapeutic approaches to stress-induced psychological impairment and cognitive deterioration. Moreover, emerging evidence suggests that there is a pivotal role of the gastrointestinal microbiota in mechanisms associated with bioavailability of bioactive polyphenol metabolites. Based on this consideration, I will discuss novel evidence about the role of microbiota in modulating the bioavailability of bioactive phenolic acids from polyphenols. Collectively, in my presentation, I will critically discuss the current complex mosaic of evidence, which puts the investigation of brain-bioavailable bioactive polyphenols at the cross-roads between promotion of health and prevention of age-related psychological resilience and prevention of age related degenerative disorders.