Thursday, March 22, 2007

Fruit Smoothie Could Improve Thinking, Memory In Alzheimer's Patients

This article on the smoothie really caught my attention. Why? I drink one of those almost every day. Oddly, when I try to get my mother, the Alzheimer's patient, to drink one along with me she refuses.

A simple fruit smoothie could soon help improve thinking and memory in Alzheimer's patients.

Fruit Smoothie Could Improve Thinking, Memory In Alzheimer's Patients

St. Louis University is the only U.S test center to study whether the drink actually works. The beverage isn't a new drug, but a nutritional drink with a combination of vitamins, antioxidants and lipids that are consumed once a day. The smoothie comes in peach or cappuccino flavors.

Dr. Theodore Malmstrom is one of three researchers looking into what could soon be a very important weapon in the fight against Alzheimer's.

"There is increasing evidence that concentrated components of natural foods can improve memory so those components have been put in a drink and we are hopeful it will help," said Malmstrom.

The goal now is to get actual patients to test it out.

SLU researchers need at least 10 Alzheimer's patients to take part in the study. They are looking for people recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's, but not currently taking medications.

Patients will be divided in two groups. One group will get a daily supply of drinks with nutritional supplements. The other group will get a similar drink but without the nutritional additions.

Results of the 24-week study will hopefully end with good news.

"There is always great hope whenever you can have new research emerging. One of the Alzheimer's Associations mission (is) to fund research programs so we are very excited," said Stephanie Rohlfs-Young, the outreach director for the St. Louis Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association.

The risk of side effects from the drink are very minor compared to side effects from the five FDA-approved medications that treat Alzheimer's.

For more information, contact Malmstrom at 314-577-8745.