Reducing Risk Factors Can Help Maintain Independence

Maintaining an independent daily life is of the key issues for Alzheimer’s disease patients and their families. An individual who can perform the activities of daily living, such as eating, taking a shower, making meals and using the toilet usually does not need round-the-clock assistance.

A new study, “Dementia and dependence: Do modifiable risk factors delay disability?” in the medical journal Neurology indicates that modifying some risk factors may help to preserve functional independence among individuals at high risk of dementia.

The authors concluded that loss of independence is more likely occur among individuals who smoke, drink and have a low income, regardless of the level of cognitive impairment. Reducing these risk factors may improve functional outcomes and delay institutionalization, according to the authors.

Dementia and dependence: Do modifiable risk factors delay disability? Neurology, April 29, 2014 82:1543-1550; published ahead of print March 28, 2014 [article (subscription required)]

Dietary supplement ‘like a touch of magic’ for Alzheimer’s patients

Miller School study finds dramatic improvements in cognitive functioning

When Rina Torres was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in her 70s, she gradually lost her ability to communicate or recognize family members. Then, she joined a University of Miami Miller School of Medicine study to test if a dietary supplement, aloe polymannose multinutrient complex (APMC), might improve her mental condition.

“When my grandmother started the treatment, I was very skeptical,” said her grandson, Lisandro Sierra, a doctor in eastern Cuba who enrolled her in the study. “But then I saw her move from darkness to the light. She became more aware of her surroundings, asked for water when she was thirsty, and went to the bathroom by herself. It was like a touch of magic.” Torres’ dramatic improvement lasted until she passed away in 2012 at the age of 84.

Torres was far from the only Alzheimer’s patient to benefit from APMC, made with aloe vera powder containing a minimum of 15% poly acetyl mannose (BiAloe®), according to John E. Lewis, Ph.D., associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, who led the team of Miller School and Miami Jewish Health Systems researchers.

“A female participant in her 90s was confined to a wheelchair and could not speak,” said Lewis. “Within six months of taking the dietary supplement, she was walking and talking again, and called one of our clinical coordinators by name, much to his surprise.”

“An architect who had Alzheimer’s for eight years, was barely able to speak, and required total care, took the APMC supplement and within a few months remembered his son’s name and carried on a conversation with his wife. She called me in tears to say that it felt like she got her husband back,” Lewis said.

The study of 34 adults with moderate to severe Alzheimer’s disease showed significant improvements in cognitive and immune functioning and stem cell proliferation after consuming 4 teaspoons of APMC per day for a twelve-month period. The study, “The Effect of an Aloe Polymannose Multinutrient Complex on Cognitive and Immune Functioning in Alzheimer’s Disease,” was published last year in The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. Miller School co-authors were David A. Loewenstein, PhD., Dahlia Abreu, B.S., Janet Konefal, Ph.D., and Judi M. Woolger, M.D.