A small clinical trial of 10 patients with early Alzheimer’s disease has shown that the memory loss and cognitive impairment can be reversed.
Not only were improvements sustained, but some patients returned to work, regained their ability to speak different languages, and showed an increase in brain matter volume after just a few months.
“All of these patients had either well-defined mild cognitive impairment, subjective cognitive impairment, or had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease before beginning the program,” says one of the team, Dale Bredesen, University of California, Los Angeles. “Follow up testing showed some of the patients going from abnormal to normal.”
The study investigated the effects of a new kind of personalised treatment on the cognitive abilities of 10 patients who were experiencing age-related decline.
The treatment – called metabolic enhancement for neurodegeneration, or MEND – is based on 36 different factors, including changes in diet, exercise, and sleeping habits, plus the integration of certain drugs, vitamins, and brain stimulation therapy to their regular routine.
These lifestyle changes and treatments were sustained for five to 24 months, and the team from UCLA and the Buck Institute for Research on Ageing in California reports that many of the patients showed real, life-altering improvements as a result.
According to the researchers, this is the first study to objectively show that memory loss in patients can be reversed, and improvement sustained.