Warding off Alzheimer’s Disease might be as easy as visiting the produce aisle at the grocery store, if a new study is to be believed.
According to a study conducted at the University of California, eating grapes every day, twice a day for at least six months helps protect the brain from the effects of early Alzheimer’s disease.
Results of the study, which was published in the journal Experimental Gerontology, showed that those who ate grapes twice a day for six months had improved cognitive memory, as well as a lessened decline of brain metabolism and improved short term memory. On top of that, they also had better overall brain activity.
Participants were picked for the study because they were showing early signs of memory decline. They received either whole grape powder, 2 ¼ cups of grapes, or a placebo powder which was similar to the whole grape powder. They then had their cognitive abilities measured on day one, and six months into the study through a PET scan, which is normally used to evaluate patients who show symptoms of dementia.
Those who had eaten grapes throughout the study had shown a lesser decline in their cognitive abilities and retained regular metabolic activity, which according to the study are the first things which are affected by Alzheimer’s. Study also showed that grapes have more to offer than just retaining healthy brain activity, they also reduce stress on the brain which in hand increases blood flow through the brain and helps to reduce inflammation within the brain.
“The study examines the impact of grapes as a whole fruit versus isolated compounds and the results suggest that regular intake of grapes may provide a protective effect against early decline associated with Alzheimer’s disease,” Said Dr. Daniel H. Silverman, lead investigator of the study.
The University of California study comes on the heels of some controversy in the world of Alzheimer’s treatment.
In mid-2016, the results of a study were released that looked to see if an experimental drug, LMTX, would be able to counteract the effects of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Results from the study had some in the scientific community up in arms. They accused the study of cherry picking positive data in a study that clearly produced negative results when taken as a whole.
Researchers presented their findings in late July at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in Toronto on a highly anticipated clinical trial for a drug called LMTX, meant to counter the effects of dementia and Alzheimer’s by dissolving a protein build-up in the brain which by some accounts may play a role in the progression of the disease.
The drug trials involved 891 patients which all showed mid – moderate signs of Alzheimer’s and took place over an 18-month period.
Patients were given a variety of different drugs which are supposed to improve cognitive function while slowing the progression of the disease. Study showed that LMTX had no effect on the progression of the disease as per cognitive testing, functional test scoring, and even brain scans.
But researchers chose to show that the 136 out of 891 patients participating who were taking LMTX and nothing else had all shown improved results across the three tests.
Although the results were skewed, some still believed that it was possible that LMTX could eventually prove to be helpful.
Roughly 564,000 Canadians currently live with dementia, a number that is expected to increase sharply as the country’s current population ages. According to the Alzheimer’s Society of Canada, 937,000 Canadians are projected to be afflicted with dementia by the year 2031.