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  • 23 Jun, 2024

Can Alzheimer's really be reversed, as a new documentary claims?

Can Alzheimer's really be reversed, as a new documentary claims?

Two people diagnosed with Alzheimer's claim to have conquered the disease through simple lifestyle changes.

A new CNN documentary, "The Last Alzheimer's Patient," has brought attention to two individuals, Cici Zerbe and Simon Nicholls, who claim to have reversed their Alzheimer's disease symptoms through lifestyle modifications. While new drugs can slow the progression of the disease, emerging evidence suggests that adopting a healthy lifestyle may "reverse" Alzheimer's symptoms.

Zerbe experienced symptom reversal after participating in a clinical trial in the US that involved intensive lifestyle changes, including a plant-based diet, regular exercise, group support sessions, yoga, and meditation. She reported feeling "much better" than she did before the trial five years ago when diagnosed with the disease.

Nicholls, aged 55, carries two copies of the ApoE4 gene variant, a significant risk factor for Alzheimer's. However, after adopting healthy lifestyle changes, he saw remarkable improvements in his symptoms. His biomarkers for Alzheimer's disappeared within 14 months, outperforming most treatments.

Nicholls attributed his progress to physical activity and dietary changes. He incorporated regular exercise, strength training, walking, and cycling. He also embraced the Mediterranean diet, removed sugar, alcohol, and processed foods, and improved his sleep hygiene.

While these cases are remarkable, it's important to interpret the findings cautiously, as they represent results from only two individuals in the trial. Nonetheless, the potential benefits of lifestyle changes on cognition are gaining attention, and combining them with new disease-modifying drugs may significantly reduce Alzheimer's symptoms and progression.