By Jonathan Springston, Associate Managing Editor, AHC Media

A group of researchers recently published the results of a small trial that showed a rigorous, personalized treatment plan could reverse the effects of Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

The study, a joint effort between the Buck Institute for Research on Aging and the UCLA Easton Laboratories for Neurodegenerative Disease Research, enrolled 10 patients suffering from mild cognitive impairment, subjective cognitive impairment, or AD. Researchers engaged each patient in a 36-point therapeutic program that called for comprehensive changes in diet, brain stimulation, more exercise, sleep optimization, targeted pharmaceuticals and vitamins, and other actions that affect brain chemistry.

The authors followed their patients for between five and 24 months. All patients improved thinking and memory abilities, and some even returned to completing tasks that had previously slipped out of reach. While it’s a small sample, researchers believe degenerative brain diseases are more treatable that once thought possible. Still, much work remains.

“The magnitude of improvement in these 10 patients is unprecedented, providing additional objective evidence that this programmatic approach to cognitive decline is highly effective,” said author Dale Bredesen, MD, a professor at the Buck Institute and professor at the Easton Laboratories. “Even though we see the far-reaching implications of this success, we also realize that this is a very small study that needs to be replicated in larger numbers at various sites.” AD and other cognitive disorders are a growing concern for many Americans.

For all the latest research on this issue, along with commentary from expert physicians, be sure to check out Neurology Alert.