Reversing Alzheimer’s? A New Study Offers Hope

Niki Fears - Author

Dec. 11 2014, Updated 2:25 p.m. ET

Alzheimer’s Disease can be devastating for the 5 million Americans affected by the debilitating disease and their families who struggle with providing their care, but a new study from researchers at UCLA may offer some hope.

Researchers at UCLA (University of California Los Angeles) lead by Dr. Dale Bredesen, who is currently the director of the Mary S. Easton Center for Alzheimer’s Disease Research at UCLA and director of the Buck Institute, have completed a small pilot study involving ten patients which was published in the journal Aging. The study participants had varying degrees of dementia caused by Alzheimer’s Disease and were between the ages of 55-75.

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Under careful supervision, which involved blood work, monitoring of brain functions and other testing, the patients took park in a treatment regimen that included increasing their levels of Vitamin D, eliminating processed foods, increasing sleep, regulating insulin levels through their diet, adding coconut oil and probiotics to help stabilize and improve gut health, increasing DHA levels to help repair the eroded connection pathways in the brain, adding a variety of herbs and supplements, and introducing a strong exercise program among other things. In total, 36 various deficiencies and factors focussing on diet, adequate sleep, exercise, and reducing stress were all addressed on the regimen.

As a result, 9 out of the 10 patients involved in the UCLA study showed significant reversal of their Alzheimer’s symptoms and improved cognitive ability. The tenth patient was a a 60-year-old woman who was already in the late stages of Alzheimer’s Disease before she began the program and she was the only one in the study whose symptoms did not improve. Unfortunately, she continued to decline.

Dr. Bredesen stated that the reason he believes that traditional treatment for Alzheimer’s is not as successful is because the disease is multi-faceted with multiple causes. He compares it to a roof that has several holes in it that need to be fixed to restore the roof and says that “drug companies tend to come up with a really good patch for one hole” instead of addressing all of the issues involved.

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This is not the first study to examine some of these factors. For example, a study published in the journal Neurology last year showed a link between low levels of Vitamin D and an increased risk of Alzheimer’s. What is unique about this study, however, is the overall holistic approach that it takes in addressing the multiple factors instead of trying to focus on solely one cause or one course of treatment.

It is this multi-approach style of therapy that Dr. Bredesen accredits the remarkable results to and believes that this shows great promise for victims of Alzheimer’s in treating, or perhaps even preventing, the disease if began early enough in its progression. While they say more research may be needed, this study is certainly something for Alzheimer’s patients, and those at risk for Alzheimer’s, to consider.


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