Thanks to a promising new study published in the Fall 2014 issue of the medical journal Aging, the nearly 5 million Americans who are currently struggling with an Alzheimer’s Disease diagnosis might have hope that their symptoms can be reversed. This is especially good news considering that Alzheimer’s Disease is currently the 6th leading cause of death here in the United States.
A team of researchers at UCLA, worked with ten volunteers between the ages of 55 and 75, and all of whom had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease. While they were all progressing with the disease at varied speeds, 9 out of 10 of the participants reported that their symptoms had been reversed through a rigorous program that included “optimizing Vitamin D levels in the blood, using DHA supplements to bridge broken connections in the brain, optimizing gut health, and strategic fasting to normalize insulin levels.” A few months into the study, all but one patient found that their cognition had improved or returned to their pre-Alzheimer’s level of normal.
Each patient who volunteered for this study agreed to have their blood drawn, along with neurophysical evaluations and brain scans. Most of them were displaying anywhere between 10 and 24 problems, or “contributing factors” that needed to be corrected. Researchers then put them on a rigorous daily program that was all-encompassing:
Eliminating simple carbohydrates and processed foods from the diet
Taking probiotics and coconut oil, along with various herbs and supplements
Intense exercise regimen
Sleeping, on average, 8 hours a night
In just a matter of months, the majority of patients saw a complete reversal of their symptoms and showed signs of more cognitive acuity.
Over the years, researchers have identified 36 contributing factors of Alzheimer’s Disease. Upon completing this study, the team at UCLA concluded that the disease is best addressed when all 36 contributing factors are addressed at the same time, rather than one-by-one.
"Each one of these things contributes a small piece of the puzzle," said Dr. Dale Bredesen, study author and Director of the Mary S. Easton Center for Alzheimer's Disease Research at UCLA. "It's like a roof with 36 holes in it. Some people have a big hole in, say, exercise, and maybe a smaller hole in another area."
Dr. Bredesen and his team will continue to research Alzheimer’s Disease and the most effective methods of treatment and prevention for people who appear asymptomatic.
"We are now looking at what is causing illness in order to make a big impact on it," said Bredesen. "If you're not deteriorating, it's a good idea to do what our moms told us to do: Exercise, get sleep, keep stress down and don't eat junk food."
Sounds like moms advice will serve us well as we age.