Alzheimer's breakthrough recorded using brain stimulation exercises

Ashby Memory Method "like taking your brain to the gym"

CALGARY, July 31 /CNW/ - The Alzheimer's Innovation Institute Inc. of Calgary unveiled an innovative brain exercise discovery at the International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease ending today in Chicago.

Preliminary trials show the Ashby Memory Method improves memory in people with early and mid Alzheimer's disease by stimulating neuronal activity in several areas of the brain. Early results show the non-drug treatment could outstrip the best Alzheimer's medications on the market.

"The brain is a very complex organ and we've shown that our comprehensive brain fitness approach can return function once you've started to lose your memory," said John Ashby, the lead researcher. "It's much like taking your brain to the gym with a personal trainer."

Field trials of 50 participants with early to mid Alzheimer's Disease showed an average improvement of 1.9 points over a one-year period on the 0-30 point Mini Mental State Exam (MMSE), a standard test instrument. Several participants exceeded 5 point increases. That compares to an average decline in untreated Alzheimer's patients of 3.3 points per year. The increase can equate into improved ability to dress, use the phone, converse and engage in activities halted by frustration and memory loss and results have continued for up to 1.5 years.

"With 42% of people predicted to get Alzheimer's by age 85 there was a lot of impetus to do this work," said Ashby, 53. The non-drug therapy can be administered by a caregiver or family member - especially important because 85% of people with Alzheimer's live at home.

Losing your memory due to Alzheimer's disease potentially awaits 10 million American baby boomers, according to the Alzheimer's Association's 2008 Facts and Figures. Ashby believes this discovery will help turn those figures into myth.

Gayle Burrows, a Vancouver caregiver trained as a registered nurse, has seen dramatic results. One Alzheimer's participant, Timothy, improved from 16 to 26 on the MMSE. "After a year with the Ashby Memory Method he is brighter, happier and he remembers my name," said Burrows. "I can finally say there is something we can do to help. It is exciting."

Ashby's mother, the late Dr. Mira Ashby, received the Order of Canada for pioneering the work of rehabilitating people with brain injuries. Ashby theorized that Alzheimer's brains could also be rehabilitated.

Alzheimer's Innovation Institute Inc. is a Calgary-based company specializing in medical technologies. 1-877-300-8988

For further information: John Ashby, Lead researcher,

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