These Patients Who Are Cured of Alzheimer’s Disease
New findings suggest that the disease is reversible if we intervene on diet, physical activity, relaxation.
Neurodegenerative pathology characterized by the development of beta-amyloid plaques in the brain, Alzheimer’s disease is a form of dementia that could affect 100 million people worldwide in 2050. The aging of the population is not the only cause of this evolution; environmental factors including diet, exposure to toxins (aluminum), certain medications (anticholinergics), and level of physical activity would be risk factors.
Recently, metabolic approaches have shown encouraging results in Alzheimer’s patients, suggesting that it is possible to reverse the disease. Explanations.
Patients recover memory in a pilot study
A 2016 study followed the effects of a new type of personalized treatment on 10 patients. The name MEND (for Metabolic Enhancement for NeuroDegeneration) treatment is to work on 36 factors such as diet, exercise, sleep habits, yoga and relaxation… It also uses drugs, vitamins or brain stimulation.
These changes in lifestyle and these treatments lasted from 5 to 24 months; Most of the patients have had real improvements, says one of the researchers, Dale Bredesen, from the University of California, Los Angeles: “The scale of improvement for these 10 patients is unprecedented. “
For example, a 69-year-old patient who was still working was about to stop his business because of memory loss. Tests showed that he had signs of early Alzheimer’s. After 22 months with the MEND program, his cognitive tests improved and he was able to return to work. The team explains that “The neuropsychologist who performed and evaluated his test emphasized that his improvement was beyond what was observed in the neuropsychologist in 30 years of practice. “
Another 66-year-old patient, still active, had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. After five months of intervention, he stopped the program. His condition declined and he had memory loss. He resumed the program, which helped to stop his episodes of memory loss. After 10 months, her condition improved and the volume of her hippocampus increased by about 10%.
Most patients had normal cognitive test results at the end of treatment. But it is still too early to know how long it could last. 9 of the 10 patients had a genetic risk for Alzheimer’s disease. This means that people predisposed to Alzheimer’s disease can prevent the progression of the disease.
The study suggests that patients ‘memory loss can be reversed by changes in patients’ lifestyles and that improvements can be sustained. Dale Bredesen explains that in the case of Alzheimer’s disease there is no single drug that can stop or slow down the disease. Since Alzheimer’s disease is complex and involves several factors (at least 36), the solution must be multiple and combine different strategies. Since then, Dale Bredesen has evolved the MEND treatment into a protocol called ReCODE.
Here is the testimony of two women who followed the ReCODE protocol :
Julie : ” I could not remember the names, I could not locate some people within my family. It was terrifying and very embarrassing. I think the worst of my experience was having to stick a post-it on my steering wheel to remember which side of the road I had to drive. But in 3 to 4 months of protocol, I have experienced significant changes: now I recognize people, I know who is this or that child, who is the husband of whom, I remember the teachers of my children. And most importantly: I drive with confidence. “
Deborah : ” The first symptoms started 20 years ago but I did not know it was Alzheimer’s disease: my vocabulary was getting poorer, I could not attend meetings anymore, starting from mid-afternoon, I was intellectually exhausted.When I was young, I played the piano, and with the disease, I could not do it anymore. When I sat in front of a piano, I could not read a score. After two years of protocol, I sat down in front of a piano and was able to read a score again and replay the piano easily. “
The ketogenic diet improves patients
The ketogenic diet consists in drastically reducing the carbohydrates of its diet and increasing the fats in the same proportion. This regime is of interest to doctors who treat Alzheimer’s patients because once the disease is well established, the nerve cells of patients no longer manage to use glucose as a source of energy and eventually die.
” In Alzheimer’s patients, says Dr. Michèle Serrand, author of The ketogenic diet against Alzheimer’s disease is a failure of neurons (nerve cells) to use glucose (sugar) is their first source of energy usually. Gold without energy, no life: neurons can not live and function normally. Some researchers refer to Alzheimer’s disease as a kind of brain diabetes, type 3 diabetes. Today, there are no effective drugs to allow neurons to use glucose again normally. But neurons have the ability to use another source of energy. It’s about ketones, natural substances from fat. “
When you reduce your intake of carbohydrates significantly and replace them with fats (especially coconut oil), the liver starts producing molecules called ketones that are an excellent source of energy for virtually all body tissues. . This is called the ketogenic diet. When the body functions from the ketone body, it is said to be in a state of ketosis, a close state that can be reached also by fasting.
According to current research, ketones could be considered as drugs acting against various diseases such as epilepsy, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, migraine, certain metabolic disorders such as diabetes and even cancer.
Several patients have been improved with a ketogenic diet.
At least 9 Alzheimer risk factors that can be acted on
In a study published in 2015, researchers report that 9 potentially modifiable risk factors could contribute up to two-thirds of Alzheimer’s disease cases. Prevention strategies targeting diet, drugs, body chemistry, mental health, pre-existing illness and lifestyle can therefore help reduce the risk of dementia.
The researchers conducted a meta-analysis with 323 publications covering 93 risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease. They have shown that exposure to certain drugs – especially those for lowering blood pressure and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – or estrogen could prevent Alzheimer’s disease. In the same way, high intakes of certain vitamins (vitamin B9 or folate, vitamins E or C) or coffee consumption are associated with a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
With regard to eating habits, more frequent consumption of fish and a Mediterranean diet reduce the risk of dementia.
The researchers then sought to evaluate the contribution of the 9 main risk factors to the development of the disease: obesity, narrowing of the carotid artery, low level of education, depression, frailty, hypertension arterial, smoking, elevated levels of homocysteine, type 2 diabetes. Results: These potentially modifiable risk factors could account for 2/3 of Alzheimer’s disease cases.
Recommendations to prevent Alzheimer’s
In 2013, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PRCM) published recommendations to prevent Alzheimer’s disease. Seven risk reducing principles were presented at the International Conference on Nutrition and the Brain held in Washington on July 19-20, 2013:
- Limit trans fatty acids
- Eat mostly fruits, vegetables and cereals
- Ensure that you consume 30g of nuts or whole grains a day to bring in vitamin E, an antioxidant associated with a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease
- Ensure that you receive 2.4 μg of vitamin B12 a day (by food or with a dietary supplement)
- Avoid multivitamin supplements containing iron and copper, except in case of medical prescription. These metals increase oxidative stress
- Avoid foods that have been in contact with aluminum cookware, even though the role of aluminum in the disease remains controversial
- Do the equivalent of 40 minutes of walking 3 times a week.
To this list is added:
- Exposure regularly to the sun to allow the skin to synthesize vitamin D
- Consume omega-3, which is found especially in fish oils …
Bredesen DE, Amos EC, Canick J, Ackerley M, Raji C, M Fiala, Ahdidan J. Reversal of cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s disease. Aging (Albany NY). 2016 Jun 12.
Wei Xu, Tan Lan, Wang Hui-fu, Teng Jiang, Tan Meng-Shan, Tan Lin, Qing-Fei Zhao, Li Jie-Qiong, Wang Jun, Jin-Tai Yu. Meta-analysis of modifiable risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease . Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, 2015;jnnp-2015-310548 DOI: 10.1136 / jnnp-2015-310548
A. Barnard. Dietary Guidelines for Alzheimer’s Prevention. Nutritional Conference on Nutrition and the Brain. July 2013.