Can Nootropics Help Fight Dementia?
Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia affect the lives of millions of Americans. In fact, more than 5 million Americans currently have Alzheimer’s disease, and it is the 6thleading cause of death in the United States. 1 in 3 seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia, and it costs the nation hundreds of billions of dollars each year. If you’ve ever known anyone who had to suffer from Alzheimer’s or another dementia, you know just how awful it is.
Unfortunately, up until now, treatments for Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia haven’t been so effective. The disease has shown no signs of slowing down. In fact, by 2025, it’s estimated that the number of people 65 and older who will have Alzheimer’s disease will eclipse 7 million – that’s a 40% increase. We need to find a way to help prevent and treat Alzheimer’s and dementia once and for all.
That’s why many have started to look to nootropics. We already know there are lots of great nootropics that offer tons of cognitive benefits, but is it possible that certain nootropics could play a role in fighting Alzheimer’s and helping prevent dementia? Based on evidence from multiple studies, the answer could be “yes”.
Huperzine A for Alzheimer’s Disease
Let’s start by talking about Huperzine A. This nootropic has been studied for decades as a potential Alzheimer’s treatment. Back in 1995, a double-blind, placebo controlled study of 103 individuals with Alzheimer’s was performed. The study found that about 60% of the individuals being treated with Huperzine A showed improvements in memory, thinking, and other behavioral functions.
Fast forward to 2002 when researchers took another look at Huperzine A for helping in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. This time 202 patients with the diagnosis of possible or probable Alzheimer’s Disease were divided into two groups: one receiving Huperzine A daily for 12 weeks; the other receiving a placebo. The group of Alzheimer’s patients who were taking Huperzine A showed improvements in cognition, behavior, mood, and activity of daily life.
Vinpocetine Fights Dementia
But Huperzine A isn’t the only nootropic that shows signs of promise in helping fight Alzheimer’s and dementia. Vinpocetine is another that has shown benefits in various studies.
In one placebo-controlled, randomized double-blind, multicentre trial titled Efficacy and tolerance of vinpocetine in ambulant patients suffering from mild to moderate organic psychosyndromes, the research team found that Vinpocetine provided a significant benefit in the treatment group which consisted of 203 individuals with mild to moderate dementia. As the abstract states, “This study demonstrates the usefulness and efficacy of vinpocetine in the management of patients with moderate organic psychosyndromes.”
While there are many more encouraging studies showing the potential use of nootropics for helping in the fight against dementia and Alzheimer’s, it’s still too early to definitively label or recommend any of these as a surefire treatment. However, we should all be encouraged by what we’ve seen so far.