A few years ago at the age of 67, Sarah (not her real name) was planning suicide because she was starting to have the same problems her mother suffered from as she developed Alzheimer’s. She couldn’t remember phone numbers or what she had just read and even finding her way around the familiar roads near her home in California was becoming impossible. She’d already been forced to give up her job because she could no longer cope.
Today Sarah’s memory has improved so much that she has been able to go back to work and suicide is right off the agenda. That’s not what is supposed to happen. Doctors in both American and the UK have nothing to offer patients like Sarah. At least nothing in the way of drugs to slow her inevitable decline. What made the difference was an intensive diet and lifestyle package that combined exercise, drastic changes in her diet and supplements for six months. The results were remarkable.
She was one of ten patients who went on the package developed by a professor of neurology at the University of California. Out went simple carbohydrates, gluten and processed foods, which were replaced with a lot more vegetables and fish. She started taking exercise, meditating and doing yoga. Her supplement regime included B vitamins, vitamin D, fish oil, Co-Q10, melatonin and HRT.
Nine patients on similar regimes saw a noticeable improvement in memory. Only one patient, who was in the late stages of Alzheimer’s, didn’t benefit. Some patients have been followed up for two and a half years and the memory improvements have been maintained.
Even though Alzheimer’s experts agree in theory that lifestyle plays a major part in your chances of developing the disease, they have proved remarkably reluctant to actually do anything serious about it. This is a powerful demonstration of what can be done with an informed and targeted approach. How much longer can everything that doesn’t involve a drug, however good the results, continue to be ignored?
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