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The battle against Alzheimers mixed emotions

Blog Post 14 November 2017

The battle against Alzheimer’s – mixed emotions

LipiDiDiet – what? Sounds like the latest lose pounds regime before putting them back on over Christmas.

But no, this is the serious title of a neurology study that is looking at one-daily medical drink that could help those with pre-dementia stage Alzheimer’s.

Published in the Lancet – it’s not the easiest of reads – the general response appears to be one of caution.

Hope? Not really sure. The clinical trial involved 311 people with mild cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer’s disease, determined by an MRI brain scan or a lumbar puncture test.

The active ingredient in the drink is ‘Fortasyn Connect’, a specific combination of essential fatty acids, vitamins and other nutrients including omega-3 fatty acids, choline, uridine monophosphate, phospholipids, antioxidants and B vitamins.

I desperately wanted to read fantastic outcomes, but . . . Key findings are:

  • Daily consumption of the active drink did not improve memory and cognition as measured by a specific neuropsychological test battery (NTB)
  • Those consuming the active drink showed less decline in cognitive and functional performance over two years (measured by a clinical rating scale CDR-SB)
  • There was a reduction in shrinking of the hippocampus, an area of the brain involved in memory, in those consuming the active drink.
  • The drink had no effect on the number of people who progressed from mild cognitive impairment to dementia during the study

 

It may not be all we wanted to hear, but at least this study hints that a medical drink could slow the decline of thinking skills in people experiencing mild memory problems, who also have early signs of Alzheimer’s disease.

Like all medical trials the development stages face massive regulation hurdles. This one sadly did not meet the success criteria that would be needed for developing new drugs.

For those with creative medical minds who push for new frontiers of medicine, you have my heartfelt thanks (and no doubt thousands of others too) for trying. Without you there would be no hope.

The news comes as Swedish scientists have discovered that anticoagulants (blood thinners) may reduce the risk of dementia.

The study took in 444,000 Swedes. In a nutshell here it is: Researchers from the Danderyd University Hospital, Stockholm, found that patients taking anticoagulants had a 29% reduced risk of developing dementia, which rose to a 48% reduced risk when they looked at the time period during which the patients took the drugs.

They noted that the protective effect against dementia was greater the sooner oral anticoagulant treatment was started.

Debbie Le Quesne - CEO West Midlands Care Association