Age Matters Clinic


Toronto Geriatric Assessment and Memory Clinic

UCLA Study Aims To Reverse Alzheimer's

Alzheimer's Papers

Over the years, there have been many scientists hoping to slow down the progression of Alzheimer's disease. From the Mediterranean diet to regular exercise, everyone is looking for a way to keep symptoms of the brain disease at bay. A researcher at UCLA believes he may have found a way to reverse memory loss associated with the disease. Does it sound too good to be true? According to the research, he found so much success in the first clinical trial that they are now looking to take the study even further.

The research author, Dale E. Bredesen, conducted a very small study at UCLA with just ten participants. Though the study was small, it brought forth the importance of living a healthy lifestyle - even after an Alzheimer's diagnosis has been made. The study focused on ten men and women who had been diagnosed with the disease. Their treatment was to simply live the healthiest lifestyle possible. That included personalized therapy to suit the needs of each individual patient. Some of the major changes to their lifestyles included: seven to eight hours of sleep every night, more fruits and vegetables in the diet, eating grass-fed beef as opposed to regular beef, exercising six days a week for at least thirty minutes, removing carbs, gluten, and processed foods from the diet, focusing on stress reduction, fasting for three hours before bed, and so on.

The results of these lifestyle changes were noticeable. In fact, nine out of the ten patients involved in the clinical trial saw dramatic improvements. Their symptoms of memory loss were reversed entirely or lessened just three to six months after starting the lifestyle focused treatment. Each one of the patients started out with "aggressive memory loss." In fact, the progression of Alzheimer's was so severe that one of the patients was unable to finish reading a page of a book without forgetting how the page had begun. However, by the time she finished treatment, the patient was able to read without memory loss and even memorize phone numbers. Thirty months after the treatment had begun, her symptoms were almost entirely gone. There is no question that the results of this UCLA study are encouraging. With a strict healthy lifestyle, it may be possible to halt or slow down the progression of the symptoms altogether.

The results of the study suggest that personalized lifestyle changes may in fact be more effective against this illness than drug therapy alone. This is certainly something to consider as Alzheimer's research moves forward. However, there is a problem with the study. It is simply too small to know for sure how effective these changes could be in the future. According to Debbie Richman, the education director at Minnesota-North Dakota Alzheimer's Association, "it's only ten people. It's not enough for us as an organization to say this is going to be the next great thing."

Bredesen is all too aware that the first clinical trial was small. That is why he is working towards another study with even more participants. He is hopeful that the results will be just as encouraging as the original UCLA study. With Alzheimer's disease affecting the independence of millions of men and women worldwide, this study is a step in the right direction at the very least. With a larger study on the horizon, time will tell how effective these lifestyle changes could be on a wider scale.

Are you looking for more information about cognitive decline and brain health? Contact the Age Matters Clinic at: 647-268-0620. We understand how to improve the life of Alzheimer's and memory loss patients.