Posted on Jan 15, 2010, 6 a.m.
Concocting a blend of precursors to fatty molecules that comprise brain cell membranes, Massachusetts institute of Technology (MIT, US) researchers find the nutrient blend boosts verbal memory in Alzheimer’s patients.
In that in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease, patients typically suffer a major loss of the brain connections necessary for memory and information processing, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT; Massachusetts, USA) researchers have formulated a combination of three naturally occurring precursors to the fatty molecules that make up brain cell membranes (uridine, choline and the omega-3 fatty acid DHA), along with selected co-factors (including B vitamins, phosopholipids and antioxidants), in an effort to promote growth of brain synapses. When administered to a group of 225 study participants for 12 weeks, 40% of the subjects displayed marked improvements in tests of verbal memory (as compared to 24% of controls). Further, as noted by the team: “Supplementation … improved memory (delayed verbal recall) in mild [Alzheimer’s Disease] patients.”
Philip Scheltens, Patrick J.G.H. Kamphuis, Frans R.J. Verhey, Marcel G.M. Olde Rikkert, Richard J. Wurtman, David Wilkinson, Jos W.R. Twisk, Alexander Kurz. “Efficacy of a medical food in mild Alzheimer's disease: A randomized, controlled trial.” Alzheimer's & Dementia: The Journal of the Alzheimer's Association, January 2010, Vol. 6, Issue 1, Pages 1-10.e1.