Alzheimer’s disease currently affects 30 million people around the world. There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, and dementia (other forms including vascular dementia and dementia with Lewy bodies as well as other, rarer manifestations) currently costs the UK £26bn a year.
A recent trial carried out at the University of California, Los Angeles and the Buck Institute for Research on Ageing has shown that some memory loss may be reversed in patients using a complex therapeutic care plan. The plan is based on tests to determine factors that affect brain’s signalling network.
The plans were tailored to each patient and included interventions such as taking fish oil, cutting carbohydrates out of the diet leading to weight loss, increasing exercise, improving oral hygiene by using electric toothbrushes and taking part in yoga to reduce stress. The initial study showed that nine out of ten patients improved on their new regime. The patient who did not improve suffered from more severe Alzheimer’s disease than the other patients. Although the initial results seem promising, researchers say that a larger clinical trial is needed.
Other benefits seen in the study is that the patients’ general heath improved; however disadvantages are that patients and their carers found it hard to comply with their specific regime.