Are Alzheimer’s symptoms reversible?

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Are Alzheimer’s symptoms reversible?
Image Credit: Allen Eyestone
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In 2014, researchers made a surprising discovery. The preliminary results of a small trial conducted by UCLA and the Buck Institute for Research on Aging suggested that Alzheimer’s disease symptoms may be reversible. (Read the 2014 study.)

A followup study released this month by the same researchers confirms those initial findings and may generate interest in conducting larger studies involving the Metabolic Enhancement for Neurodegeneration (MEND) protocol in the future. (Read the 2016 study.)

MEND is an individualized regimen that includes everything from diet and exercise guidelines to brain stimulation, sleep analysis, and nutritional supplements.

Read more: Lack of deep sleep may set stage for Alzheimer’s

A group of 10 subjects with various levels of cognitive decline were placed on the MEND protocol, and the preliminary results showed promising results, with 9 out of 10 subjects showing sustained cognitive improvement.

The June study follows up on the 10 subjects, and includes case studies and brain scans. Some of the scans showed marked improvements in hippocampal volume, and most of the subjects continued to enjoy significant cognitive improvement.

One caveat of the study is the small sample size. Further studies hope to expand the amount of subjects and to test if the MEND protocol is most effective in early stages of the disease. Another issue is the complexity of the MEND protocol, which made it difficult for subjects to follow for an extended period of time.

Read more: Unusual test detects Alzheimer’s using… peanut butter?!

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