Small Trial Successfully Reverse Memory Loss Caused by Alzheimer's Disease
A new study involving ten older adult patients with early Alzheimer's disease revealed that a new programmatic and personalized therapy can successfully reverse memory loss caused by the disease.
The study, published in the journal Aging, is based on a protocol dubbed as "metabolic enhancement for neurodegeneration." The new personalized program involves comprehensive changes in diet, lifestyle, medication and additional steps that affect brain chemistry.
"The magnitude of improvement in these ten patients is unprecedented, providing additional objective evidence that this programmatic approach to cognitive decline is highly effective," said Dale Bredesen, MD, a professor at the Buck Institute and professor at the Easton Laboratories for Neurodegenerative Disease Research at UCLA and lead author of the study, in a statement.
For the study, the researchers enrolled 10 older adults that have been diagnosed with early Alzheimer's disease before the program. Nine of the patients are at genetic risk for Alzheimer's, carrying at least one copy of the APOE4 allele. Five of them carry two copies of APOE4, making them 10 to 12 times more likely to develop Alzheimer's.
The participants and their family noticed considerable improvement on their ability to recall things. Neuropsychological testing and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) also reveals that the patients are on the right track of reversing their memory loss caused by Alzheimer's.
Even with their positive findings, researchers still can't establish definitive conclusion due to the very small study. Bredesen plans to replicate the study in larger numbers at various sites.
Alzheimer's disease is the most common form of dementia. It affects older adults, but can also acquire by younger people. In the United States, CDC estimates that more than five million people were living with Alzheimer's. The number of people with the disease in the United States doubles every five years and is projected to have a nearly three-fold increase to 14 million by 2050.