Non-drug therapies show promise in UCLA study
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) prevalence is on the rise and recent estimates suggest it to be the third leading cause of death in the US behind cardiovascular disease and cancer.1 Affecting 30 million globally, women are at the epicenter of the epidemic and their chance of developing AD is now greater than that of breast cancer.2
With no cure–or even effective therapies–in place, there has been no sign of relief from the rise in cognitive impairment, until now.
A new study by Dale E. Bredesen, MD, of UCLA found significant results and reversal of cognitive impairment using diet and supplementation, along with simple lifestyle changes including meditation, yoga, and sleep.
Of the 10 memory loss patients studied (some with brain-scan-confirmed patterns of AD), 9 saw noticeable improvement in memory and cognitive function. Six of the patients who had discontinued work due to their condition were able to return to their jobs; several patients were followed for up to two and a half years, and the memory improvements remained. The one patient who did not respond was in the late stages of AD.
Patients ranged in ages from 55-75 and each had been experiencing a decline in memory for numerous years. Symptoms included the inability to remember numbers or analyze data once easy to process; to learn or remember anything new; and to put names with familiar faces. After beginning the study protocol, results were recognized in 3-6 months with some reporting cognitive ability even better than before their decline began.
The therapeutic program included (but was not limited to) the following elements:
Diet: Anti-inflammatory focus; choice of several low glycemic, low grain diets; eliminating processed foods and simple carbs
Reduce Stress: Personalized to include yoga, meditation, music or other
Exercise: 30-60 minutes/day, 4-6 days/week
Enhanced Ketogenesis: Fasting for 12 hours between dinner and breakfast and 3 hours prior to bedtime
Optimize Sleep: 8 hours of sleep aided by melatonin
Hormone Balance: personalized and supplemented as needed (progesterone, pregnenolone, and cortisol)
Detoxification: autoxidizing foods; chelation therapy for heavy metal toxicity
Vitamin Supplementation: including B-12, D-3, K2, fish oil, CoQ10, resveratrol (individualized based on patient deficiency and need)
Even patients who were able to adhere to some but not all of the protocol components saw improvement. Based on these results, plans are underway for a larger study.
“We promote a number of these therapies to our constituents,” says Anne Gimbel, Regional Director of the Coachella Valley Alzheimer’s Association. “It is great to see medical research embracing their value.”
We encourage you to review the full report, consult your health care practitioner, and to make simple lifestyle choices to improve and maintain your cognitive ability.
The report was published in AGING and is available online or through PubMed: www.impactaging.com/papers/v6/n9/full/100690.htm. Coachella Valley Alzheimer’s Association can be reached at (760) 328.6767.
References: 1) Prince MA, Emiliano; Guerchet, Maëlenn; Prina, Matthew.2014; World Alzheimer Report 2014 United Kingdom: Alzheimer’s Disease International; 2) 2014 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures. Special Report on Women and Alzheimer’s Disease. USA: Alzheimer’s Association, 2014; pp. 1‐80.