UCLA Dr Bredesen “Reversing Alzheimer’s Memory Loss”

Dale Bredesen, MD has succeeded in reversing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease in a small study of ten memory-loss patients.

The patients, some with brain-scan-confirmed patterns of Alzheimer’s, constituted a small UCLA trial called MEND (Metabolic Enhancement for NeuroDegeneration).  In the UCLA protocol, patients made dramatic lifestyle changes.  Diet wise they avoided simple carbs, gluten and processed foods, but increased fish intake.  They supplemented their diet with melatonin, Vitamin B-12, vitamin D-3 and fish oil.  They also took yoga, meditated and got adequate sleep.

Within six months, nine patients saw a noticeable improvement in memory. One patient, who was in the late stages of Alzheimer’s, did not show improvement.

UCLA researchers say the findings suggest at least early on, changing a person’s metabolic processes can bring back memory and cognitive function.

Six of the patients of the patients in the study who had to discontinue working were all able to return to their jobs. Study authors say some patients were followed up to two and a half years and the memory improvements remained.

Dr. Dale’s research model addresses several possible disease components at once (diet, exercise, etc.) rather than testing one drug at a time to rule out the effects from other drugs or interventions. He says, “studying one drug at a time is like patching one hole in a roof that has dozens of holes.”[1]

Publishing their results in the journal Aging, the team mentions that all but one of the patients are at genetic risk for Alzheimer’s disease, carrying at least one copy of the APOE4 allele. Five of the patients are carrying two copies of APOE4, which gives them a 10- to 12-fold increased risk of developing the disease.  Around 65 percent of Alzheimer’s cases in the US involve APOE4.

Testing for the genetic risk means patients may now be able to stall the disease’s progression.

“We’re entering a new era,” says Bredesen. “The old advice was to avoid testing for APOE because there was nothing that could be done about it. Now we’re recommending that people find out their genetic status as early as possible so they can go on prevention.”

The team has split the 10 patients up into individual case studies, available for reading in their open access paper.

Video of Dr. Dale’s lecture on the topic before the Silicon Valley Health Institute can be viewed at SVHI.com.

[1] http://6abc.com/health/reversing-alzheimers-effects-with-non-drug-treatment/337057/

Daniel Potasz, M.S.

Our Science Reporter covers biology, technology and their impact on health. He holds a Masters in Science from UCLA.

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