Following a two-year EU funded study carried out at the University of Eastern Finland, we could be a step closer to finding ways to conserve the memory of some patients with Alzheimer’s disease. By giving patients a daily nutritional drink, researchers have been able to aid memory and cognitive issues, and help participants to perform everyday tasks. Furthermore, it’s been seen to reduce shrinkage of the brain in people with prodromal Alzheimer’s.
During the study, one group were given Fortasyn Connect, a patented blend of nutrients including those found in herring and breast milk, while the other group were given an iso-caloric drink. The drinks were given once a day, for a period of two years. Both groups underwent cognitive tests, including word recall, delayed word recall and recognition, and a letter-digit substitution test.
The study was carried out as part of the EU funded LipiDiDiet project, with the results proving to be extremely valuable as they offer a greater understanding of how nutrition can impact prodromal Alzheimer’s. Currently, doctors are better able to diagnose prodromal AD, but are unable to offer any specific treatment due to a lack of approved drugs. However, this study does indicate that through nutritional intervention it may be possible to conserve brain tissue and also help to preserve memory and the patient’s ability to perform everyday tasks.
This clinical trial is part of the larger EC project to explore how nutrition can have a therapeutic and preventative effect on the neuronal and cognitive performance as we age. Although researchers already know that diet can reduce the risk of developing dementia, and that certain nutrients do have a neuroprotective effect on the brain, there isn’t one single nutrient that has the power to fight degenerative diseases alone. This study shows that the key to finding an effective treatment is to combine nutrients, in order to multiply their effectiveness.
The team will now undertake further analyses as part of a six year extension study. It’s hoped that we’ll soon have a greater insight into the combination of nutrients needed to produce the most beneficial effect.