Boosting Memory in Alzheimer's Patients

Medical food Souvenaid may increase memory in patients with mild Alzheimers disease

(RxWiki News) Alzheimer's disease patients can have trouble remembering basics from the faces of loved ones to where they put something down. A medical food that has showed promise in trials could help with a memory boost.

Medical food Souvenaid may help patients with mild Alzheimer's disease improve their memory, it was found in a second trial of the nutrient cocktail.

"Talk to your neurologist about Alzheimer's treatments."

The medical food, produced by Danone (called Dannon in the U.S.), consists of Fortasyn Connect, a mix of nutrients normally found in breast milk including uridine monophosphate, choline, the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, phospholipids, B vitamins and antioxidants. It is not yet commercially available.

Dr. Philip Scheltens, professor of cognitive neurology and director of the Alzheimer Center at the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, said he was encouraged by the results, though he noted that additional studies would be needed to fully understand the findings.

Souvenaid is designed to stimulate the formation of nerve connections called synapses. Experts believe that the loss of synapses prompts memory loss and cognitive dysfunction in Alzheimer's patients.

Pre-clinical studies previously showed that the medical food could promote the growth of new brain synapses. An MIT study published in journal Alzheimer’s and Dementia in January 2010 also found that 40 percent of Alzheimer's patients who drank Souvenaid improved performance in a test of verbal memory.

The Souvenir II trial involved 259 participants with mild Alzheimer's disease treated in 27 European medical centers. Over a period of 24 weeks, participants in the blind study drank either 125 ml of Souvenaid or a control drink.

Memory was evaluated at the beginning of the study through neuropsychological testing, and again at 12 weeks and 24 weeks.

Investigators found that memory scores were significantly higher among the group who took Souvenaid as compared to the control group. Researchers are still studying secondary outcomes through EEG data to measure brain function, which could better aid them in determining how the supplement aids with functional connectivity..

The preliminary research was recently presented at the International Conference on Clinical Trials in Alzheimer's Disease in San Diego, California. It has not yet been published.

Review Date: 
November 10, 2011