Alzheimer’s disease is still searching for its cure. To date, medical science has failed to prove that any treatment, therapy or brain exercise can help prevent or cure this deadly disease. No medications, over-the-counter remedies or brain training programs have been proven in solid clinical trials to ward off Alzheimer’s.
Thus far, the best evidence investigators have found, indicates that healthy living is a person’s best defense against dementia. That means eat right, exercise, treat health problems such as high blood pressure, and remain socially active.
Alzheimer’s: Evidence Reviews
Researchers at the Minnesota Evidence-Based Practice Center in Minneapolis conducted four side-by-side evidence reviews to test different categories of proposed therapies and treatments for Alzheimer’s:
- Physical activity. Low-strength evidence from 16 trials showed that combining different types of activity such as exercise, diet and cognitive training, might improve performance on brain tests.
- Prescription drugs. No medications appeared to protect the brain in data from 51 trials. The drugs studied included those specifically for dementia as well as drugs to treat other health problems of aging, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol and ebbing hormone levels.
- Vitamins and supplements. There’s no evidence from 38 trials that any over-the-counter tablets or pills can prevent dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. This included omega-3 fatty acids, ginkgo biloba and vitamins B, C, D and E.
- Cognitive training. Brain exercises did not ward off dementia in 11 clinical trials.
There is some, moderate evidence, that cognitive engagement brings some benefits, but those benefits are local. If we train on memory, our memory might improve. If we train on processing, our processing speed might improve. But there isn’t any good evidence to directly link that to changes in how many people develop dementia.
Alzheimer’s: Future Prognosis
It is evident that researchers need to return to the basics and focus on first figuring out why people develop Alzheimer’s before they start testing for cures.
None of the medications that have been looked at so far have been proven to reverse or even slow down significantly the degradation of cognition.
There is consensus that new research will break through and come up with a cure for alzheimer’s and dementias.