Potential treatment options are listed below in order from most effective to least effective, as determined by TeddyCanHeal's advanced software. Not every treatment will work for everyone, so talk to your doctor to determine what will be best for your individual needs. Many treatments may also be used in combination with one another or with medication.
Phosphatidylserine is a lipid (a fat) and an important component of cell membranes. While it is present throughout the body, it is especially abundant in the membranes of neurons, where it also plays a role in cell signaling and communication. Because dementia involves the damage and eventual destruction of neurons, it has been suggested that supplementing the diet with phosphatidylserine can help strengthen brain cells and defend against this damage.
The phosphatidylserine used in supplements was originally derived from cows, but after concerns about mad cow disease, manufacturers began producing it from other animals or from soy. There is some debate about whether the soy-based variety is as effective as that derived from animals, with conflicting findings from various studies. No serious side-effects are associated with this treatment.
In 1991, researchers used phosphatidylserine to treat patients with age-related memory impairment. After a period of 12 weeks, the patients taking the treatment were evaluated using a series of learning- and memory-based tests relevant to daily life. The same test was given to a second group of patients who had only received a placebo. The patients taking phosphatidylserine showed notable improvement in the tests compared to the other group. The largest improvements were observed in the patients who had tested especially poorly prior to receiving treatment. A similar study focusing specifically on dementia was published the following year, and also reported improvement under phosphatidylserine versus the placebo.
More recently, a 2013 study investigated the efficacy of using phosphatidylserine to treat cognitive impairment in the elderly. More than 500 patients participated, each given either 300mg or a placebo every day for six months. At the end of the experiment, Statistically significant improvements in the phosphatidylserine-treated group compared to placebo were observed both in terms of behavioral and cognitive parameters. The researchers also noted that the treatment was well tolerated with no serious side-effects.
Vitamin D can be found in some foods and is also produced naturally by the body following exposure to sunlight. Its primary functions relate to the health and maintenance of bones, though it also influences cell growth, the immune system, and inflammation. Additionally, vitamin D plays an important role in the regulation of mood, the production of neurotransmitters, and the protection of neurons. It is also believed to play a part in age-related diseases, with low levels being associated with increased chances of cognitive decline, Alzheimer's, and similar issues. As of yet, it is not known whether the vitamin D deficiency is a cause or a symptom of such neurodegenerative diseases.
While it is still uncertain how effective vitamin D supplements are at treating dementia, they are generally inexpensive and lead to few side-effects.
Most studies about vitamin D and dementia have focused on the correlation between D deficiencies and the development of the syndrome. One 2010 study investigated the relationship between vitamin D levels, cerebrovascular disease, and dementia. They found that Vitamin D insufficiency and deficiency was associated with all-cause dementia, Alzheimer's disease, stroke (with and without dementia symptoms), and MRI indicators of cerebrovascular disease, all of which point to vitamin D having an important protective role in the brain. The same year, another group of researchers published a paper regarding vitamin D levels and age-related cognitive impairment and dementia. In their six-year study, they found that low levels of vitamin D were associated with substantial cognitive decline.
Other studies have looked at lowered vitamin D levels as a risk factor for the development of cognitive issues. A review paper published in 2012 investigated the association between dementia, cognitive function, and vitamin D, concluding that ...lower vitamin D concentrations are associated with poorer cognitive function and a higher risk of AD [Alzheimer's]. Two years later, another study of over 1,500 patients looked at whether low levels of vitamin D increases the risk of age-related cognitive issues. The researchers found that vitamin D deficiency substantially increased the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer's.