Friday, September 9, 2011
How a Doctor Reversed Her Husband’s Alzheimer’s Disease in 37 Days
by Frank Shallenberger, MD
If you’ve ever known anyone with Alzheimer’s disease, you know how heart-breaking it can be. Not only does it destroy a person’s mental abilities and dignity … but it wipes out the person’s very personality, leaving behind a mere shell of a human being. The body is there for you to see, but the person you know and love no longer exists.
That’s exactly what happened to my colleague Dr. Mary Newport and her husband Steve. As Mary describes it, “I was watching my husband of 36 years fade away.”
Things didn’t start out that way, of course. For most of Steve’s life, he was known for his quick wit and sharp mind. He could do complicated math in his head … take apart computers and repair them … fix practically anything else without instruction. If he didn’t have a tool to do something he would “invent” one and make a usable prototype. He was also a voracious reader. And he loved kayaking, cooking, landscaping, and caring for his two daughters.
Indeed, on the day the couples’ first daughter was born, Steve left his corporate job as an accountant so he could work from home. He took over as manager of Mary’s medical practice, handing all the accounting and administrative tasks. The practice grew by leaps and bounds.
But then Steve’s memory started failing him. At first, it was little things, like misplacing his keys and forgetting appointments. But then the lapses became more serious. He started making errors with the accounting and payroll. Forgetting whether had had made the bank deposits. Missing tax deadlines.
A psychiatrist diagnosed him as having depression, and put him on antidepressant drugs and psychological counseling. But of course, that didn’t help. Steve’s memory continued to get worse. He started getting lost while trying to drive home. He couldn’t even remember how to turn on the car’s windshield wiper.
By now it was clear that Steve had dementia. Mary wrote in her journal: “It has been a nightmare to watch his decline. Every night, we hold each other before we go to sleep and I wonder how many more times we will get to do this.”
Mary did everything she could for Steve. She cooked for him, gave him his medications, helped him get dressed.
She also tried to enroll him in studies on new experimental drugs. But Steve scored so low on the mental exam that he didn’t qualify for the studies.
One day, Mary came across research on an experimental drug called Ketasyn. She learned that in a study of Alzheimer’s patients, this drug brought about improvement in half the people who took it.
Mary did research on the internet and came across a patent application for the drug. The application included a description of how the drug works and a list of the drug’s ingredients. Much to Mary’s surprise, the main ingredient of the drug was medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), derived from coconuts.
Could the solution to Alzheimer’s be as simple as taking MCT oils? Mary decided she had nothing to lose. She went to the health food store and bought some coconut oil. The next morning, she mixed it in Steve’s oatmeal and fed it to him. She then drove him to an appointment where he was scheduled to re-take the MMSR exam.
As soon as they got to the appointment, Steve was whisked away to the exam room. When he came back, Steve told Mary that he was unhappy with his performance. So Mary pulled aside the research coordinator and asked how Steve did. The coordinator looked at Mary and said “Didn’t he tell you? He scored an 18!”
I spoke to Dr. Mary Newport just recently. Not only is Steve’s gait totally back to normal, but he now jogs daily! His tremor is completely gone. And he has also gone back to being an avid reader. He recently relayed the details of two articles he read in Scientific American.
His memory is also dramatically improved. He often brings up events that happened days or weeks earlier.
He recognizes his relatives again and has conversations with them. He is back to doing the yard work at the house. And he has started doing volunteer work at the local hospital.
Mary and I are convinced that these changes are due to the coconut oil. Why? Because any time Steve misses a dose, his Alzheimer’s symptoms immediately start to return.
Can coconut oil work for you or a loved one? The odds are good that it can. Not everyone will benefit to the same degree that Steve did. But I will tell you this: In my experience there will always be some degree of improvement.