Recently, the UCLA Mary S. Easton Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research and the Buck Institute for Research on Aging joined forces to conduct a small trial that showed encouraging results of memory improvement for 10 patients suffering memory and cognitive loss.
Up to this point, there has not been a single pharmaceutical that has the capabilities to stop or even slow Alzheimer’s in its tracks. Drugs have only had a minimal effects on its symptoms. The author of the paper, Dale Bredesen, Augustus Rose Professor of Neurology and Director of the Easton Center at UCLA as well as professor at The Buck Institute, said,
In the past decade alone, hundreds of clinical trials have been conducted for Alzheimer’s at an aggregate cost of over a billion dollars without success.
Now all that could be poised to change. In this small trial, researchers put together a 36-point therapeutic program that involved changes in diet, sleep patterns, exercise, brain stimulation and specific supplements, among other things.
This followed observations by the researchers that other chronic diseases such as cancer, HIV and cardiovascular disease have also shown improvement through similar combination programs.
the existing Alzheimer’s drugs affect a single target, but Alzheimer’s disease is more complex. Imagine having a roof with 36 holes in it, and your drug patched one hole very well — the drug may have worked, a single “hole” may have been fixed, but you still have 35 other leaks, and so the underlying process may not be affected as much.
During this trial, 6 patients who had either experienced difficulties with their jobs or had to discontinue working altogether because of their symptoms, were able to continue working or return to work within 3-6 months of starting the program.
The approach was personalized for each patient with vigorous testing to determine what they needed. For example, one patient with a demanding job who was forgetting her way home followed a routine that consisted of just some of the components involved with the program including the eliminating of simple carbs that led to a 20lb weight loss, eliminating gluten and processed food from her diet, starting yoga and meditation, taking fish oil, B12 and D3 supplements, etc.
The paper reported that memory loss was reversed and sustained for 9 out of the 10 patients. The 10th patient was in the later stages of Alzheimer’s.
Bredesen concludes that although the trial, published in the journal “Aging,” shows much promise, the results are currently anecdotal, so a more extensive and controlled clinical trial needs to be done.