A 69 year old entrepreneur has been suffering from increasing memory loss over the last 11 years, to a point where he was contemplating closing down his business. After six months on a 36-point plan, called metabolic enhancement for neurodegeneration, he began to once again recognize faces, remember his daily schedule, and was able to compute numbers in his head. After a further 16 months on the program, his long-term memory improved to the 84th percentile, and not only does he intend to keep his business open but he has plans for expansion.
Memory loss in early stage Alzheimer’s patients can be reversed
A remarkable new study coming out of the Buck Institute for Research on the topic of aging is turning how we view Alzheimer’s disease on its head. Conducted in collaboration with the Eastern Laboratories for Neurodegenerative Disease Research at the University of California in Los Angeles, it provides the first evidence that decline in cognitive function and memory loss can be reversed, rocking the foundation of how Alzheimer’s disease is viewed. The study, titled “Reversal of Cognitive Decline in Alzheimer’s Disease”, was published earlier this month in the journal Aging.
APOE4 gene mutation can be overcome
The study included ten patients who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, or who were already exhibiting definable mild cognitive dysfunction. Of the ten subjects, nine were carriers of the mutated APOE4 gene, already identified as a risk factor for developing Alzheimer’s. In five cases, both gene copies were mutated, placing these subjects at the highest level of risk. Previous research has shown that in the United States, 65 percent of all Alzheimer’s patients are carrying a mutated APOE4 gene, therefore to see such astonishing results in a research study group with these mutations is very exciting.
According to the study’s author Dr. Dale Bredesen, Professor at the Buck Institute and Easton Laboratories, these results mean that we should no longer ignore the APOE4 mutated gene, assuming it is a fait accompli whether the carrier will suffer from Alzheimer’s. Instead, he says, people should be tested for APOE4 mutation, and if present, placed on a prevention plan as soon as possible.
A 36-point personalized plan may be the key to returning to life
The 36-point plan, or metabolic enhancement for neurodegeneration, includes a number of strategies that impact brain chemistry, such as vitamin supplements, exercise, changes in diet, improved sleep patterns, drugs and brain stimulation activities. The researchers note that this synergistic approach may also improve the efficacy of drug therapies.
Another case cited in the new study is of a 66 year old man whose brain scans and neuropsychiatric examinations showed mild cognitive dysfunction. The hippocampus region of his brain, which is critical to learning and memory, was much smaller than normal for a person of his age. The hippocampus region experienced significant growth after 10 months on the 36-point, multi-disciplinary plan.
These remarkable results were not short-lived, as follow-up tests demonstrated that the return to normal cognitive functioning had not diminished.
Bredesen admits that this study involved a small number of patients and that it must be replicated on a larger scale. Nevertheless, the results are “unprecedented” and the improvements in cognitive functioning experienced by test subjects proves that the 36-point, multi-target approach can work.