Editor’s Note: This UCLA study first appeared in the medical press in 2014. We are publishing brief excerpts on the AgingOptions Blog as part of our Focus on Dementia. You can access and read the entire UCLA study by clicking here.
This report describes a novel, comprehensive, and personalized therapeutic program that is based on the underlying pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease, and which involves multiple modalities designed to achieve metabolic enhancement for neurodegeneration (MEND). The first 10 patients who have utilized this program include patients with memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI), or subjective cognitive impairment (SCI).
Nine of the 10 displayed subjective or objective improvement in cognition beginning within 3-6 months, with the one failure being a patient with very late stage AD. Six of the patients had had to discontinue working or were struggling with their jobs at the time of presentation, and all were able to return to work or continue working with improved performance. 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. Furthermore, given the failure of monotherapeutics in AD to date, the results raise the possibility that such a therapeutic system may be useful as a platform on which drugs that would fail as monotherapeutics may succeed as key components of a therapeutic system.
Results from the 10 patients reported here suggest that memory loss in patients with subjective cognitive impairment, mild cognitive impairment, and at least the early phase of Alzheimer’s disease, may be reversed, and improvement sustained, with the therapeutic program described here. This is the first such demonstration. However, at the current time the results are anecdotal, and therefore a more extensive, controlled clinical trial is warranted.
One potentially critical result from the study is the impact of the therapeutic program on the ability of the various patients to work effectively. Six of the 10 patients had had to discontinue working or were struggling with their jobs at the time of presentation, and all were able to return to work or continue working with improved performance. One additional patient had not had difficulty at work at the time of presentation, and has continued to work without difficulty. The other three patients had not worked for years, and did not begin again after treatment. The improvement in function that is required to work effectively after struggling due to cognitive decline is an important outcome of any successful therapeutic system, and is ultimately more critical to the patients than biomarker effects or test performance.
Of the first 10 patients who utilized this program, including patients with memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI), or subjective cognitive impairment (SCI), nine showed subjective or objective improvement.
One potentially important outcome is that all six of the patients whose cognitive decline had a major impact on job performance were able to return to work or continue working without difficulty.
These anecdotal results suggest the need for a controlled clinical trial of the therapeutic program.
You’ll find the entire UCLA study here: https://www.aging-us.com/article/100690/text