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:

For further information: John Ashby, Lead researcher, (403) 870-2672;
Joan Crockatt, Chief Executive Officer, (403) 714-3325

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