Program That May Reverse Alzheimer's Memory Loss
People suffering from Alzheimer's, may now have a new hope. A study shows that combination therapy may be the key to treating the disease. In a program called MEND, which stands for "Metabolic Enhancement for NeuroDegeneration," patients were given 25 things to do on a regular basis.
Sleep problems were identified and corrected so every person got at least eight hours of sleep nightly. Thirty to sixty minutes of exercise was prescribed 4-6 days a week. Stress was reduced by engaging people in yoga, meditation or listening to music. Everyone was put on a diet that was low glycemic, low inflammatory or low grain, depending on their preferences.
The ultimate goal of each therapy was to reduce or avoid inflammation and minimize insulin resistance. Researchers also took steps to reduce cortisol, which increases blood sugar and suppresses the immune system.
The idea behind this combination therapy was similar to what researchers have found with other devastating diseases. In the 1980s and early 1990s, dozens of drugs were tried on AIDS patients with little effect. Many extended life a few weeks or months at best. The revolution happened when multiple drugs were combined that attacked the disease from several fronts. Suddenly the death rate started to decline, dramatically.
Researchers from two organizations, Mary S. Easton Center for Alzheimer's Disease Research, Department of Neurology, UCLA and Buck Institute for Research on Aging got together and designed a combination approach for Alzheimer's patients. Here's the reasoning from the researchers themselves.
"In the case of Alzheimer's disease [AD], there is not a single therapeutic that exerts anything beyond a marginal, unsustained symptomatic effect, with little or no effect on disease progression. Furthermore, in the past decade alone, hundreds of clinical trials have been conducted for AD, at an aggregate cost of billions of dollars, without success. This has led some to question whether the approach taken to drug development for AD is an optimal one."
In other words, drugs administered the conventional way have failed. Someone had to try something different. So the researchers recruited 10 people in various stages of Alzheimer's disease. Several had stopped working because of problems with memory and information retention. Then they started their life "makeover."
When the study started, six people had either quit working or were struggling with their jobs. Within a few months, all six were either able to return to work or kept working with improved performance. Nine of the 10 participants, "showed subjective or objective improvement." The only person that did not improve had started the study diagnosed with late stage Alzheimer's.
Researchers found that, "Improvements have been sustained, and at this time the longest patient follow-up is two and one-half years from initial treatment, with sustained and marked improvement. These results suggest that a larger, more extensive trial of this therapeutic program is warranted. The results also suggest that, at least early in the course, cognitive decline may be driven in large part by metabolic processes."
Since the study was published, an organization called Muses Labs has launched a "4-step process." They collect your medical information, pinpoint the causes of your specific cognitive decline, create a personalized program and then they offer support to help you follow through with the plan.
Says Muses Labs’ CEO Vik Chandra, “Muses Labs intends to utilize the Internet and recent technology innovations to make personalized combination therapy practical and accessible to every individual with Alzheimer’s disease around the world.”
By combining the genome information and blood tests, Muses Labs produces a variety of reports that summarize the patients issues. Then they provide specific medical recommendations for physicians, exercise programs for personal trainers and dietary suggestions for nutritionists.Muses Labs is also developing a personalized coaching methodology. The coaches work with the patient on a weekly basis over the phone, to help remove barriers to making the program work. Other methods like apps are being explored as well.
It's not a cure. One of the subjects developed, "an acute viral illness" and she discontinued the program. A decline was noticed and was "reversed when she reinstated the program. Two and one-half years later, now age 70, she remains asymptomatic and continues to work full-time."
The program is difficult to follow. In fact, none of the participants did everything in the protocol. But by doing most of the changes, they saw significant improvement. Even though it's challenging, the researchers noted that for most people without this program their prognosis is, "poor and their cognitive decline essentially untreatable."
Fortunately not everybody has to do everything. By looking at the genome and the blood test, Muses Labs is working on figuring out which points are the most important things each patient needs to concentrate on.
You can read the entire study online here: http://impactaging.com/papers/v6/n9/full/100690.html
You can also contact Muses Labs to get more information about the MEND protocol from the standpoint of patient or administering physician. There is no cost for a physician to join. For patients, there is the routine cost of doctor's visits and blood work, plus a $199 DNA test from 23andm3.
(WeBeFit and the employees of Eden Entertainment Limited have no interest in Muses Labs or any alzheimers treatment. We are not offering an endorsement, but believe the results of the initial study are so compelling, this protocol should be considered by people who may be suffering from this terrible condition. As more studies are conducted, we will continue to update this page.)
Muses Labs is at: https://museslabs.com/.
MEND Memory Program
(Information provided directly from the published study.)
|Goal||Approach||Rationale and References|
|Optimize diet: minimize simple CHO, minimize inflammation.||Patients given choice of several low glycemic, low inflammatory, low grain diets.||Minimize inflammation, minimize insulin resistance.|
|Enhance autophagy, ketogenesis||Fast 12 hr each night, including 3 hr prior to bedtime.||Reduce insulin levels, reduce Aβ.|
|Reduce stress||Personalized—yoga or meditation or music, etc.||Reduction of cortisol, CRF, stress axis.|
|Optimize sleep||8 hr sleep per night; melatonin 0.5mg po qhs; Trp 500mg po 3x/wk if awakening. Exclude sleep apnea.|
|Exercise||30-60' per day, 4-6 days/wk|
|Brain stimulation||Posit or related|
|Homocysteine <7||Me-B12, MTHF, P5P; TMG if necessary|
|Serum B12 >500||Me-B12|
|CRP <1.0; A/G >1.5||Anti-inflammatory diet; curcumin; DHA/EPA; optimize hygiene||Critical role of inflammation in AD|
|Fasting insulin <7; HgbA1c <5.5||Diet as above||Type II diabetes-AD relationship|
|Hormone balance||Optimize fT3, fT4, E2, T, progesterone, pregnenolone, cortisol|
|GI health||Repair if needed; prebiotics and probiotics||Avoid inflammation, autoimmunity|
|Reduction of Aβ||Curcumin, Ashwagandha|
|Cognitive enhancement||Bacopa monniera, MgT|
|25OH-D3 = 50-100ng/ml||Vitamins D3, K2|
|Increase NGF||H. erinaceus or ALCAR|
|Provide synaptic structural components||Citicoline, DHA|
|Optimize antioxidants||Mixed tocopherols and tocotrienols, Se, blueberries, NAC, ascorbate, α-lipoic acid|
|Optimize Zn:fCu ratio||Depends on values obtained|
|Ensure nocturnal oxygenation||Exclude or treat sleep apnea|
|Optimize mitochondrial function||CoQ or ubiquinol, α-lipoic acid, PQQ, NAC, ALCAR, Se, Zn, resveratrol, ascorbate, thiamine|
|Increase focus||Pantothenic acid||Acetylcholine synthesis requirement|
|Increase SirT1 function||Resveratrol|
|Exclude heavy metal toxicity||Evaluate Hg, Pb, Cd; chelate if indicated||CNS effects of heavy metals|
|MCT effects||Coconut oil or Axona|
KEY to Table:
CHO, carbohydrates; Hg, mercury; Pb, lead; Cd, cadmium; MCT, medium chain triglycerides; PQQ, polyquinoline quinone; NAC, N-acetyl cysteine; CoQ, coenzyme Q; ALCAR, acetyl-L-carnitine; DHA, docosahexaenoic acid; MgT, magnesium threonate; fT3, free triiodothyronine; fT4, free thyroxine; E2, estradiol; T, testosterone; Me-B12, methylcobalamin; MTHF, methyltetrahydrofolate; P5P, pyridoxal-5-phosphate; TMG, trimethylglycine; Trp, tryptophan
UPDATE - Exercise Can Prevent Alzheimer's
BMC Public Health - Formulation of evidence-based messages to promote the use of physical activity to prevent and manage Alzheimer’s disease - BMC series – open, inclusive and trusted 2017 17:209
Researchers went through more than 150 studies on the effects of physical activity and Alzheimer’s. After considering all the evidence, the expert panel concluded that: “Regular participation in physical activity is associated with a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Among older adults with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, regular physical activity can improve performance of activities of daily living and mobility, and may improve general cognition and balance.”
The panel encourages people to follow current United States federal guidelines of at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio and at least two muscle building sessions a week. Researchers aren’t sure how it works, but they agree conclusively that it does work.
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