Monday, April 22, 2013

Anona for Alzheimer's

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The Dementia Caregiver's Little Book of Hope [Kindle Edition
Alzheimer's disease eats away at the mind and the memory.

Some doctors are now prescribing a "medical food" as part of their treatment. But not everyone who works with Alzheimer's patients thinks it will help.

Draw some water, pour in the powder, stir, and voila. That's all it takes to make this milkshake neurologist Doctor Gerald Calegan is prescribing to some of his patients.

"It's a medical food that is approved for treating Alzheimer's disease."

The "medical food" is called Axona.

According to doctors, the treatment that contains a derivative of coconut oil helps fuel the brain with ketones, an alternative brain fuel to glucose which is what those suffering from Alzheimer's are losing.

"Just sip on it for a few minutes after you eat breakfast and it's shown to improve memory scores in patients with Alzheimer's disease."

While Axona was approved by the FDA back in 2009, some are still skeptical as to how effective it is in treating Alzheimer disease.

"People will try anything when they have a terminal disease."

Barbera Autin is the executive director for Alzheimer's Services in Baton Rouge. Her mother recently succumbed to the disease and says some under stress might be tempted to try something new.

"As the disease progresses, it's as though the person regresses to almost infancy. Where they need 24 hour care. So it demands so much attention from the caregiver it just wears them out."

But her organization and some other critics aren't ready to recommend the use of medical foods like Axona in place of long standing medications for Alzheimer's just yet.

In the meantime, Doctor Calegan says it's working, and is impressed by his patients' improvement.

"Remembering a grandchild's birthday, being able to remember a doctor's appointment, knowing that you're taking your medicines properly. those things make a big difference.""Medical food" being prescribed by some doctors to treat Alzheimer's

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