A new self-help book, written by two respected neurologists, claims to have found a way to reverse the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.

‘If you have a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease and want to help slow the progression of symptoms, you’re holding in your hands the only proven solution to do so.’

This bold statement appears in the introduction of a new self-help book which has received a fair amount of publicity recently. You may have seen its authors appear on BBC Breakfast last week, saying that their book won’t only help lower your risk of developing dementia, it could even reverse the condition.

The Alzheimer’s Solution: A Breakthrough Programme to Prevent and Reverse the symptoms of cognitive decline at every age, has certainly caused a stir. Written by two award-winning US neurologists, Dr Dean Sherzai and Dr Ayesha Sherzai, the book draws on 15 years of research from around the globe and is, say its husband and wife authors, ‘the solution you’ve been waiting for.’

There’s no doubt it contains some very valuable information and advice about boosting brain health. Since Alzheimer’s usually develops decades before any formal diagnosis, the lifestyle changes the doctors suggest – whatever your age or current circumstances – are sensible enough.

1. Improving your diet – this includes giving up meat which they say is bad for your brain and eating more pulses, vegetables and fruit

2. Being more active – you don’t have to run marathons, just getting up from your chair or desk every hour or so and move around more could make a big difference

3. Getting a good night’s sleep – because restorative sleep is essential for brain health

4. Learning to handle stress better – by using whatever works for you; whether it’s meditation, mindfulness, yoga, a few deep breaths or a walk outside.

5. Stimulate your brain – do crosswords, puzzles, or any challenging, complex activity because it can help to keep your brain in good health.

Nobody would argue with any of this. In fact www.unforgettable.org have given much similar lifestyle advice many times before (see all the articles below). However, we can’t help feeling uneasy about the author’s claims that their ‘breakthrough plan’ might actually ‘reverse’ Alzheimer’s. Whilst lifestyle factors have been shown to reduce risk and improve quality of life, suggesting they can also reverse the condition once you already have it, sounds like an overstatement to us.

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