By 2050 it is estimated that there will be 160 million people affected by Alzheimer's, compared to 30 million today. This would be enough to make evident the urgency of a cure or at least of an effective therapy that can improve the quality of life of people and, not to be underestimated, the weight on the health service.
Excellent news comes from a university study, which managed to restore a good degree of memory in a group of 10 patients.
The study is the result of an intense collaboration between the Buck Institute - specialized in the study of the field of aging - and the laboratories of the Universities of Los Angeles and California. The researchers were able to reverse the tendency to memory loss, which characterized the degenerative pathway of Alzheimer's.
They succeeded by subjecting 10 patients to a precise protocol of 36 points; some of these included a restoration of healthy sleep habits, improvements in diet, physical activity, brain stimulation, and medication and vitamin intake. For each of the patients a strictly personalized program has been profiled.
In the previous years, volunteers had been diagnosed with cognitive decline or Alzheimer's disease and all of them showed excellent improvements at the end of the program. In the text of the study we can read some particularly positive cases:
A 66-year-old man recovered 12% of the hippocampus volume after only 10 months of treatment. Another 69-year-old patient resumed his entrepreneurial activity after he had decided to interrupt it due to the increasingly serious loss of memory. After only 6 months he was again able to recognize the faces of relatives and his employees, a skill he had almost completely lost. His business is now expanding. Finally, a woman could again speak her second language after 6 months; the traces of cognitive decline that had been diagnosed had disappeared altogether.
The study necessarily needs to be extended to a decidedly greater number of volunteers; the first results, however, are very encouraging. The results are linked to a whole series of scientific successes that make hope for an effective therapy against Alzheimer's.