Memory loss Associated with Alzheimer’s Can be Reversed

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( — October 4, 2014)  — Using a complex, 36-point therapeutic program that involves comprehensive changes in diet, brain stimulation, optimization of sleep, exercise, specific pharmaceuticals and vitamins, and multiple additional steps that affect brain chemistry, memory loss in patients may be reversed, and improvement sustained, study says.

“The findings are very encouraging. However, at the current time the results are anecdotal, and therefore a more extensive, controlled clinical trial is warranted,” said Dale Bredesen, the Augustus Rose Professor of Neurology and Director of the Easton Center at UCLA, a professor at the Buck Institute, and the author of the study.

A case study describe a patient who had two years of progressive memory loss. She was considering quitting her job, got disoriented driving, and mixed up the names of her pets. Other patient’s memory was so bad she used an iPad to record everything.

“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,” Bredesen said.

“But, the effects of the various targets may be additive, or even synergistic.” he said.

Contrary to the popular dogma that Alzheimer’s is a disease of toxicity, caused by the accumulation of sticky plaques in the brain, Bredesen believes that the source of the plaques, amyloid beta peptide, has a normal function in the brain. The increase in the peptide that occurs in Alzheimer’s disease shifts the memory-making vs. memory-breaking balance in favor of memory loss, so the answer may be a way to reduce memory harvesting peptide, but it’s not that simple.

Bredesen thought that rather than a single targeted agent, the solution might be a systems type approach, like one taken with other chronic illnesses—a multiple-component system.

The downside to this program is its complexity – multiple pills, the significant diet and lifestyle changes required each day, were the two most common complaints.

However, “It is noteworthy that the major side effect of this therapeutic system is improved health and an optimal body mass index, a stark contrast to the side effects of many drugs.” said Bredesen.

“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 much.

So, the patient who suffer from severe memory loss recovers significantly and here is what she did among other points of therapy:

– She eliminate all simple carbohydrates, leading to a weight loss of 20 pounds;
– She eliminate gluten and processed food from her diet, with increased vegetables, fruits, and non-farmed fish;
– To reduce stress, she started with yoga classes and to meditate for 20 minutes twice per day;
– She took melatonin each night;
– She increased her sleep from 4-5 hours per night to 7-8 hours per night; (7) she took methylcobalamin each day;
– She took vitamin D3 each day; (9) fish oil each day;
– CoQ10 each day;
– She optimized her oral hygiene;
– Following discussion with her primary care provider, she reinstated hormone replacement therapy that had been discontinued;
– She fasted for a minimum of 12 hours between dinner and breakfast, and for a minimum of three hours between dinner and bedtime;
– She exercised for a minimum of 30 minutes, 4-6 days per week.

With this therapeutic program, the results for nine of the 10 patients, as reported in the paper Bredesen published, suggest that memory loss may be reversed, and improvement sustained.

“This is the first successful demonstration,” Bredesen noted, but he cautioned that more extensive, controlled clinical trial is needed.