A group of scientists say that with the optimal combination of diet, exercise, and drugs, an Alzheimer’s patient could have his or her memory back within two years. A small trial showed that all study participants experienced improvements in their memory function through the new method.
Some of volunteers had such struggles with the ability or recalling things that they were on the verge of renouncing work. But after several months, they were able to get back to their workplaces with improved performance.
Study authors believe that their findings is a proof that memory loss in dementia can be reversed with proper lifestyle adjustments. The therapy included brain stimulation exercises, a personalized workout plan, healthy diet, drugs and supplements, and tailor-made methods to enhance sleep quality.
Current drugs show little success in slowing down Alzheimer’s progression, and no medication was able to reverse memory loss in patients affected by the neurodegenerative disease.
Researchers hope that their trial could lead to the first truly effective therapy for the condition. Dr Dale Bredesen, lead author of the study, said that the course of treatment was personalized for each patient.
Bredesen explained that conventional medication goes for a one-size-fits-all approach. He likened Alzheimer’s drugs to an effort to patch one hole in a roof that has 35 more holes.
“A single hole may have been fixed, but you still have 35 other leaks,”
Researchers said that all study participants had been diagnosed with the disease before starting the treatment and they had been affected by either mild cognitive impairment or subjective cognitive impairment. Some of the participants had even stopped working at the time of the study.
For example, a self-employed 69-year-old man was on the point of closing his business before joining the trial. He had reported memory-related issues since he was 58 years old. After just half a year, both his spouse and collaborators noticed that the man’s memory improved. After two years, his long-term memory was back in 84 percent.
Additionally, a 66-year-old participant had a shrunken hippocampus which is that region of the brain that processes and stores long-term memories. After nearly a year of treatment his hippocampus increased its size by up to 12 percent.
A 49-year-old female patient even regained her ability of recognizing faces and finding words after several months and showed no signs of cognitive decline after 9 months.
A research paper detailing the findings was published in the journal Aging.
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