A big new Alzheimer's discovery is big news for the medical community.
A groundbreaking discovery regarding Alzheimer’s disease could hold new hope for patients suffering from it.
Researchers used a 36-point program changing diet, exercise, sleep and a number of other factors. Along with pharmaceuticals and vitamins, scientists were able to turn back some of the effects of Alzheimer’s in 10 patients in the study, according to a statement from the Buck Institute.
The problem with Alzheimer’s is that it’s tough to diagnose when patients are living. The only confirmation is taken from a brain sample after death, so doctors have to rely on symptoms.
But for some patients, there is a higher genetic risk for Alzheimer’s. In the past, doctors might recommend against such a genetic test as nothing could be done to prevent it, but this new study suggests that there may be something that can be done about it after all.
“All of these patients had either well-defined mild cognitive impairment (MCI), subjective cognitive impairment (SCI) or had been diagnosed with Azheimer’s disease before beginning the program,” said author Dale Bredesen, MD, a professor at the Buck Institute and professor at the Easton Laboratories for Neurodegenerative Disease Research at UCLA, who said that patients were able to return to work they had to discontinue because of their struggles. “Follow up testing showed some of the patients going from abnormal to normal.”
Bredesen was encouraged by the results, but he said more research will be needed.
“The magnitude of improvement in these ten patients is unprecedented, providing additional objective evidence that this programmatic approach to cognitive decline is highly effective,” Bredesen said. “Even though we see the far-reaching implications of this success, we also realize that this is a very small study that needs to be replicated in larger numbers at various sites.”
Plans for additional studies are ongoing.