Two Alzheimer’s patients claim lifestyle changes reversed the killer disease

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Lifestyle changes halt Alzheimer’s progression in two patients.

NEW YORK, May 19: Two Alzheimer’s sufferers claim to have halted or even reversed its progression through strict yet straightforward lifestyle changes.

Cici Zerbe reported experiencing a reversal of symptoms after participating in Dr. Dean Ornish’s clinical trial, which involves a plant-based diet, regular exercise, group support, yoga, and meditation. In the CNN documentary, “The Last Alzheimer’s Patient,” Zerbe revealed she is “much better” since adopting the program, crediting meditation, diet, and exercise.

The study, to be published in June 2024 in “Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy,” explores the effects of intensive lifestyle changes on mild cognitive impairment or early dementia due to Alzheimer’s Disease. Simon Nicholls, 55, shared a similar journey. Despite carrying two copies of the APOE4 gene, which heightens Alzheimer’s risk, Nicholls experienced a remarkable turnaround after lifestyle changes.

Nicholls emphasized the importance of preventative measures, having witnessed heart diseases and dementia within his own family. Preventive neurologist Dr. Richard Isaacson, who oversaw Nicholls’ case, was astonished by the disappearance of Alzheimer’s biomarkers in just 14 months. Nicholls’ initial intervention involved prescribing tirzepatide, an injectable drug that suppresses appetite and regulates blood sugar levels. He was also urged to intensify his physical exercise routine and adopt dietary restrictions such as eliminating sugar, artificial sweeteners, alcohol, and ultra-processed foods, while embracing a plant-based diet.

The results were striking. Within nine weeks, Nicholls lost 21 pounds, mostly fat, and gained muscle mass. His health improvements included a major reduction in fasting blood sugar levels and better cholesterol levels. Nicholls also incorporated steam and sauna sessions, cold water plunges, and other wellness practices into his routine. He used stem cell injections for arthritis relief, although this practice was not fully endorsed by his doctor.

Another significant challenge for Nicholls was sleep, which he struggled with due to international travel and a demanding schedule. Dr. Isaacson pushed him to prioritize sleep hygiene and find a consistent sleep schedule to improve overall sleep quality.

Isaacson refrains from using the term “reverse” but emphasized the excitement surrounding the promising results observed in Nicholls and other patients. Lifestyle’s impact on cognition is gaining traction, with scientists exploring the benefits of a plant-based diet, stress reduction, exercise, and quality sleep.

Researchers have discovered that almost all individuals with two copies of the APOE4 gene, linked to a ten-fold heightened risk of Alzheimer’s, show early signs of the disease by age 65. This finding, part of a study by the Sant Pau Research Institute in Barcelona, analyzed data from over 10,000 people and more than 3,000 brain donors. Another study found that traumatic experiences in early life could increase the risk of developing Alzheimer’s, as people with more stress had higher levels of proteins associated with the disease.

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