Grape seed extract (GSE) is a commonly available dietary supplement taken for the anti-oxidant activity that's attributed to its proanthocyanidin (oligomers of monomeric polyphenols) content. Similar polyphenol-enriched preparations from blueberries and soy have shown protection against ovariectomy-induced or age-related cognitive deficits, suggesting that the molecular changes induced by these polyphenol preparations correlated with behavioral benefit. We hypothesized that ingestion of polyphenol-enriched preparations such as GSE would be manifested as protein changes that would be consistent with neuroprotection. Proteomics technology, namely 2D gel electrophoresis and mass spectrometry, identified quantitative changes in specific proteins induced in adult rat brain following ingestion of a powdered preparation of GSE. As recently reported [Deshane, J., Chaves, L., Sarikonda, K.V., Isbell, S., Wilson, L., Kirk, M., Grubbs, C., Barnes, S., Meleth, S. and Kim, H., 2004. Proteomics analysis of rat brain protein modulations by grape seed extract. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 52, 7872-7883.], the direction of change for the majority of the affected proteins was opposite to the direction the proteins were changed in either Alzheimer disease or in transgenic mouse models of dementia. A conservative conclusion is that GSE has neuroprotective activity, by affecting specific proteins in particular ways. In this chapter, elements of proteomics-type analysis are discussed that demonstrate the power of the technology to enable discovery of proteins involved in the response of the brain to a stimulus whether it be a dietary supplement, or a psychoactive drug. The fact that GSE affects proteins implicated in cognitive disorders suggests moreover that GSE may have impact on the actions of psychoactive drugs by maintaining an overall viability of the nervous system. © 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.