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Studier visar: Livsstilsinterventioner viktiga för att bromsa Alzheimers sjukdom


Two studies published recently in Alzheimer’s Research and Therapy build out the growing body of evidence that lifestyle interventions will have a considerable impact on Alzheimer’s. The studies, published by ADDF-funded Miia Kivipelto, MD, PhD, and Dean Ornish, MD, both suggest that lifestyle interventions like exercise and a healthy diet can be used to modify—and potentially halt—the progression of Alzheimer’s.

“Lifestyle interventions are a vital component of the future of Alzheimer’s care that will be administered alongside novel therapeutics to stop the disease in its tracks,” notes Howard Fillit, MD, Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer of the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF). “Aging is the leading risk-factor for Alzheimer’s. Research shows implementing modifications, such as exercise and diet, likely slows the cascade of aging dysfunction and can help maintain cognitive reserve and reduce the risk of comorbidities like cardiovascular and metabolic dysfunction.”

Miia Kivipelto, MD, PhD, is Professor in Clinical Geriatrics at Karolinska Institutet (KI), Center for Alzheimer Research and senior geriatrician and Director for Research & Development of Theme Aging at Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden


Dr. Kivipelto, Professor of Clinical Geriatrics at Karolinska Institutet, Scientific Founder and Medical and Scientific Director at the FINGERS Brain Health Institute, and ADDF board member, led the six-month MIND-ADmini trial, which found multimodal lifestyle intervention, alone or combined with medical food, was well tolerated among patients with early-stage Alzheimer’s. The study also learned that those who combined lifestyle intervention with medical food reduced their vascular risk and had less cognitive decline than patients who only engaged in lifestyle interventions or the placebo group. These study findings suggest that this should be further investigated in a larger-scale trial.

Dr. Ornish, Founder and President of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute and Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, led a small, 20-week study of patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or early-stage Alzheimer’s that explored the use of intensive lifestyle interventions, including healthy eating, daily exercise, stress management, and a support groups. The trial found 71% of the intervention group either saw improvement in their cognitive function or were unchanged. The study also identified a dose-response correlation between the uptake of the lifestyle changes and the degree of change, suggesting that the more patients adhere to these changes the more they will benefit.

This research adds to the growing body of evidence that lifestyle interventions will be critical to advancing the next era of Alzheimer’s care. While these studies suggest that lifestyle interventions can help modify the course of the disease, these types of multimodal interventions are also found to prevent up to 40% of dementia cases, according to the landmark FINGER study led by Dr. Kivipelto. Combining lifestyle interventions with drugs will be the basis of precision prevention—the next frontier of Alzheimer’s care that seeks to combine treatments in a precision medicine approach.

“Prevention has long been a foundational pillar of the ADDF, and it is encouraging to further validate the critical role of lifestyle interventions in decreasing the risk of Alzheimer’s as well as the progression of the disease,” notes Dr. Fillit. “I hope these findings inspire people to take action and integrate healthy lifestyle interventions into their lives while researchers continue to develop the robust pipeline of novel drugs that will be combined with these interventions to treat the disease with precision medicine.”