Nutritional Support for Alzheimer's

Published: July 9, 2012
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In this small study of 12 patients institutionalized with moderate to severe Alzheimer's disease, half received nutritional support (folate, vitamin B12, alpha-tocopherol, S-adenosyl methionine, N-acetyl cysteine, and acetyl-L-carnitine) and the other half received a placebo. The rate of decline in the nutritional support group was 30% slower than that in the placebo group. As most medications also only slow Alzheimer's, this is promising. A good multivitamin powder is an easy way to get all of these nutrients and much more!

Efficacy of a Vitamin/Nutriceutical Formulation for Moderate-Stage to Later-Stage Alzheimer's Disease: A Placebo-Controlled Pilot Study

Ruth Remington, PhD, Amy Chan, PhD, James Paskavitz, MD, Thomas B. Shea, PhD

Department of Biological Sciences, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell, Massachusetts, Thomas_Shea@uml.edu, Center for Cell Neurobiology and Neurodegeneration Research, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Lowell, Massachusetts

Recent studies demonstrated efficacy of a vitamin/nutriceutical formulation (folate, vitamin B12, alpha-tocopherol, S-adenosyl methionine, N-acetyl cysteine, and acetyl-L-carnitine) for mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease. Herein, we tested the efficacy of this formulation in a small cohort of 12 institutionalized patients diagnosed with moderate-stage to later-stage Alzheimer's disease. Participants were randomly separated into therapy or placebo groups. Participants receiving the formulation demonstrated a clinically significant delay in decline in the Dementia Rating Scale and clock-drawing test as compared to those receiving placebo. Institutional caregivers reported approximately 30% improvement in the Neuropyschiatric Inventory and maintenance of performance in the Alzheimer's Disease Cooperative Study-Activities of Daily Living for more than 9 months. This formulation holds promise for delaying the decline in cognition, mood, and daily function that accompanies the progression of Alzheimer's disease, and may be particularly useful as a supplement for pharmacological approaches during later stages of this disorder. A larger trial is warranted.

Reference:

American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias, Vol. 24, No. 1, 27-33 (2009), DOI: 10.1177/1533317508325094

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