New Alzheimer's Research
Dear Living Well Daily Reader,
I recently went to visit my boyfriend’s grandmother at her assisted living home. Though she was pretty good that day, as we walked her back into the community room, I saw at least a half dozen elderly folks that were suffering from severe Alzheimer’s.
If you have a loved one suffering from dementia, you know just how awful it is.
Even simple mild cognitive impairment can be frustrating at least and terrifying at worst. Terrifying because research shows that the physiological changes that lead up to dementia start up to 30 years before symptoms are present.
And once the disease has progressed to Alzheimer’s, there are not a whole lot of treatment options.
The best option so far is to start an intervention while the disease is still in its mild stage, before the brain becomes too overrun with amyloid beta plaques. (These are the proteins that build up in the brain and have been conclusively linked with Alzheimer’s.)
As far as drugs go, there are not many good options. However, a new study shows that what appeared to be an ineffective Alzheimer’s drug, solanezumab, may actually have potential for slowing cognitive decline in those with mild Alzheimer’s disease.
In the initial 18-month trial, the 1,300 patients with a mild form of the dementia that got the drug actually declined 34 percent more slowly than those given a placebo.1
The trial was extended for another two years and the drug still appeared to slow the rate of decline. According to Hannah Devlin at The Guardian, “[This] is the first time any medicine has slowed the rate at which the disease damages the brain.”
The effects, however, were not seen in those with severe Alzheimer’s, indicating that the drug intervention would need to start early and more research needs to be done. A third trial is expected to be released sometime next year.
Solanezumab appears to work by clearing amyloid beta plaques from the brain.
Though drugs certainly have their time and place, there are some natural options that may prove just as effective for preserving or enhancing cognitive function. And unlike prescriptions, these are things you can consider now to help keep your brain function optimal.
A small study released in March of this year found that an omega-3 fish oil and vitamin D supplement given to patients with mild cognitive impairment increased their clearance of amyloid beta proteins and helped them maintain the same level of cognitive function after four-17 months. 2
Unfortunately, the effect was not seen in those with full-blown Alzheimer’s disease.
The health benefits of fish oil and vitamin D are so numerous that there is no reason to wait until you experience any form of cognitive impairment to start supplementing with these nutrients. And if you or a loved one is just starting to experience brain decline, they just may be able to help you preserve some brain function.
Other nutraceuticals have also shown great promise in clearing amyloid beta proteins from the brain, including curcumin, the active component of the spice turmeric. Brad Lemley wrote about some of the latest research on turmeric in this article, which you can access if you are a subscriber to his Natural Health Solutions.
Curcumin has also been shown to boost brain power in healthy adults. A special form of curcumin, called Longvida, was shown in one study to boost working memory and cognitive function in just one hour. And this particular brand of curcumin has also been shown to help clear away amyloid beta proteins in healthy adults.
Declining cognitive function is one of the most frightening parts of aging. You have to start now with the proper diet, exercise, and sleep to help stave off dementia. And including supplements like fish oil, vitamin D, and curcumin could be extremely beneficial as well. All three of those nutrients have reams of research behind them for more than just brain health, so they are all safe bet to enhance your overall health, including your brain.
To living well,
 New drug appears to stave off memory loss in Alzheimer’s patients for years. Science Alert. 2015
 Fiala, M. et al. Omega-3 supplementation increases amyloid-beta phagocytosis and resolving D1 in patients with minor cognitive impairment. FASEB Journal. 2015
View More Free Articles
It’s pumpkin season. This humble squash is virtually ignored from December through to the following September. But when fall rolls around it takes center stage again. For most of us, pumpkins show up as festive décor and baked into delicious pies in October and November. But there are plenty of reasons you ought to start...
Okay, I’ll admit I may have been accused of being a fathead a few times in my life. But I’ve got a secret. It doesn’t bother me one little bit. In fact, I take it as a compliment. After all, having a bigger brain is a GOOD thing, especially as we age. And now scientists...
I’ve sung the praises of omega-3 fatty acids many times here in Living Well Daily. I’ve encouraged you to be sure you’re getting enough of the omega-3s eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) by eating plenty of cold-water fatty fish and taking supplements when needed. And there’s a good reason for that. EPA and...
I’m sure you know that getting enough sleep is good for you. But what does that mean, exactly? It’s always been hard to get a straight answer. Until now, that is. Thanks to new research we have an answer to that question. The newly published 25-year study compares the sleep habits of over 7,000 men...
Dear Living Well Daily Reader, “Along with COVID, I’m worried about getting the flu this year. What do you recommend for avoiding the flu? The flu shot?” – Mike from Park City, UT Hi Mike, I’ll be honest. The flu vaccine COULD have a better long-term track record. According to the Centers for Disease Control...
If you’ve been a loyal reader for a while now you’re probably already taking steps to ensure your health is in tip-top shape. You do your best to eat well… You stay hydrated… You, hopefully, get in some regular exercise… And maybe you even take a multivitamin… While I would certainly give you an A...
Healthy aging boils down to one surprising thing: your muscles. I know that may sound strange at first. But hear me out. Maintaining strong and healthy muscles is the first step to keeping a healthy body and sharp mind well into your golden years. After all, sturdy muscles are required to fight off frailty and...
They say cleanliness is next to godliness. Now, I don’t know about that. But, I DO know that when it comes to your kitchen, cleanliness is absolutely VITAL. The trouble is, even the cleanest of kitchens can harbor some sickening hidden secrets. And new research just revealed one of the most surprising culprits. Trust me,...
Does developing a sniffle, sneeze, or cough practically cause you to panic these days? If so, you’re not alone. Many of us feel the same way. Gone are the “good old days” when you only had to worry if you were coming down with a cold or the flu. And, let’s be honest, we didn’t...
Dear Living Well Daily Reader, Make a cup of tea. Read a couple of pages in a book. Watch a silly cat video. There are a bunch of things you can do in three minutes. And now scientists say defeating diabetes could be one of them. If you’re struggling with blood sugar control, your doctor...