A special issue of PLOS Medicine that covers a broad range of new Alzheimer’s and dementia studies underscores the importance of a holistic, personalized-care approach to treatment, according to a California health care provider that promotes that approach.
AFFIRMATIVhealth uses information from the latest research on these neurodegenerative conditions to help patients, families and caregivers create and update disease-management plans. In addition to standard treatment, the company’s RE:mind Immersion program includes diet, exercise, social activity and other therapies.
The goal of the program is to help maximize a patient’s cognitive health, according to the Sonoma, California-based company, whose medical team consists of experts in the field. It does that by using the latest scientific knowledge to try to delay the progression of cognitive loss, or even recover lost cognitive function. Here’s a video on the program.
“The RE:mind program is designed to provide both individualized education and support while at the same time bringing together a community of individuals and care givers that share common goals and a desire to take a course of action to improve cognitive health,” according to the program’s web page.
The RE:mind program includes testing patients, recording and assessing their medical information, coming up with an initial treatment protocol, having patients and caregivers go on a four-day retreat on the protocol, and providing them with three months of follow-up coaching. The program updates treatment protocols when new information comes in.
The papers published in PLOS Medicine reaffirm that Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are complex conditions that require holistic approaches, AFFIRMATIVhealth said.
For instance, changes in diet, exercise and patient engagement in mentally and socially active activities can often improve and maintain mental health, it said.
All of the studies in the PLOS special issue offer evidence to support the notion that patients and caregivers can take proactive measures to protect and improve patients’ cognitive health, AFFIRMATIVhealth said.
“Traditional medicine has yet to prove effective when dealing with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia,” Brian Kennedy, the provider’s scientific director, said in a news release. “As with other ongoing research on aging and cognitive wellness, the papers in this special edition of PLOS Medicine present the significant promise that alternative holistic strategies including lifestyle, diet, nutraceuticals [nutrients] and drugs are now available. The large volume of evidence continually being presented by independent research groups supports the strategy of AFFIRMATIVhealth’s RE:mind program to mitigate cognitive decline with aging. ”