It’s estimated that Alzheimer’s is the “third leading cause of death in the United States and affects “approximately 5.4 million American patients and 30 million globally”. Instead of looking for a single treatment, the research conducted by the team indicated that a program that addresses all of these and other components that make up a person’s lifestyle actually worked (2).
It’s more than just a theory or hope that lifestyle changes can prevent and treat Alzheimer’s according to a paper published in September 2014 in the journal Aging. In fact, the results of the trial were pretty remarkable in some of the cases.
The therapy programs the scientists used were “comprehensive and personalized.” The therapy was based on the metabolism of each patient and designed to “achieve metabolic enhancement for neurodegeneration (MEND).”
Cognition in 9 Out of 10 Patients Improved
The first 10 patients that participated in the therapy program are featured in the paper. Among them were patients who suffered “memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI), or subjective cognitive impairment (SCI).”
Miraculously, within 3-6 months, 9 of those 10 patients “displayed subjective or objective improvement in cognition.” The one patient that didn’t show improvement was in the “very late stage AD.”
Prior to the therapy, six of the patients were forced to quit working or were “struggling” to perform their jobs. The result of the therapy – all six either returned to work or continued to work – with “improved performance.” Three of the patients were retired and didn’t come out of retirement after they improved.
Most importantly, the improvements in their job performance have been sustained. For example, two and a half years is the longest period of patient follow-up and revealed not just sustained, but marked improvement. The paper surmises that based on these initial results, a “more extensive trial of this therapeutic program is warranted.”
Based on the results of the study, the scientists concluded that a person’s “metabolic processes” could drive the decline in cognitive abilities. In addition, the team raised the possibility that by bolstering the metabolic process, monotherapeutics might succeed where they have failed in the past.
The team’s model was formed on the basis that Alzheimer’s is the result of an imbalance between the internally generated signaling and that the “β-amyloid [“peptides of 36–43 amino acids” (3)] precursor protein (APP)”. These amino acids act as a “mediator of such plasticity-related signaling” (4).
The model they created compared Alzheimer’s with other age-related illnesses, especially osteoporosis where “osteoblastic signaling is chronically exceeded by osteoclastic signaling, resulting in an age-associated chronic illness featuring loss of bone.”
Using this same analogy, the team based their research on Alzheimer’s being an “age-associated imbalance between the dynamically opposed physiological processes that interfere with the signaling process.” These signals serve as “physiological mediators of synaptic development, maintenance, repair, and remodeling”. But the therapy does more than just normalize the patients’ metabolic parameters; it is designed to “optimize them.”
Examining Three Case Studies within Report
–> Woman (67 years old)
–> Profession: Preparation of analytical reports and travel.
–> Symptoms: Progressive memory loss for two years. Unable to “analyze data or prepare the reports”
–> Status: Quit job and planned suicide
Details of Symptoms:
–> Unable to recall content after reading a full page of text
–> Unable to recall numbers, even 4-digit series
–> Unable to navigate road systems
–> Unable to recall names
–> Unable to recall location of light switches
–> Mother began having memory loss during her 60s and progressed to severe dementia. Died at age 80.
With no treatment available, the patient decided to kill herself rather than suffer decades as her mother had. A friend recommended her to the program study.
–> Patient followed most of components within the therapy protocol.
–> Within 3 months all symptoms abated
–> “She noted that her memory was now better than it had been in many years.”
Also significant in this case study is how important it is to be consistent in following the therapy program protocol. This was demonstrated when the patient became ill and stopped the therapy. She began to decline once more, but as soon as she reinstated the therapy program, her decline reversed. She is now 70 years old and “remains asymptomatic and continues to work full-time.”
Therapeutic Program she used:
–> Eliminate all simple carbohydrates (lost 20 lbs)
–> Eliminate gluten and processed food
–> Increase vegetables, fruits, and non-farmed fish
–> Reduce stress: patient began yoga and became an instructor.
–> Meditate 20 minutes twice a day
–> Vitamin and mineral supplements, such as melatonin, methylcobalamin, vitamin D3, fish oil, CoQ10
–> Increase sleep to 7-8 hours
–> Hormone Replacement Therapy
–> Fasting between dinner and bedtime (3 hours)
–> Fasting between dinner and breakfast (12 hours)
–> Exercised 30 minutes minimum 4-6 days a week
–> Man (69 years old)
–> Profession: Entrepreneur
–> Symptoms: 11 years progressive memory loss (early stage Alzheimer’s) accelerated during last 2 years.
–> Status: Unable to function in job
Details of Symptoms:
–> No longer able to mentally add number columns rapidly
–> Unable to recall daily schedule
–> Unable to recognize people at work
–> After 6 months, noted improvement (lost 10 lbs)
–> Able to recognize coworkers’ faces
–> Able to remember daily schedule
–> Function at work without difficulty
–> Quicker in responses
–> Once more able to add columns of number rapidly in his mind
–> Acceleration in decline “completely halted”
Like Patient #1, he began a comprehensive change in diet, sleep, exercise and supplements, tailored to him.
Other patients had remarkable results. One patient, a 55-year old lawyer suffered memory loss for four years that was progressive, making it difficult for her to perform her job and rear her children. She needed to learn Spanish as part of her job, but was unable to learn anything new. After 5 months of following her personal therapeutic program, she no longer needed copious notes on her iPad or to record conversations. She returned to work and learned Spanish as well as a “new legal specialty.”
Alzheimer’s May Be Reversed
Based on the results of these 10 patients, the team surmised that memory loss, “mild cognitive impairment” and early stages of Alzheimer’s “may be reversed, and improvement sustained, with the therapeutic program described here”.
The team cautions that a more extensive and controlled clinical trial is needed.
References & Image Credits:
(1) TSW: Neuroscientists Discover Breakthrough Clues in Alzheimer Research
(2) Impact Aging
(3) Wikipedia: Amyloid Beta
(4) Health Insight UK