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No need to 'rush out and buy' dementia drink says Alzheimer's Society

31-Oct-17
Article By: Angeline Albert

A medical drink being sold in the UK offering to help those with dementia has failed to win the confidence of the Alzheimer’s Society.

Credit: Shutterstock

The drink called Souvenaid which comes in strawberry and vanilla flavours and is approved as a food for medical purposes for people in the earlier stages of the condition, is available at pharmacies and from Nutricia at £3.50 for a daily dose.

But the results of the latest clinical trial on the drink, published in the journal Lancet Neurology, reveals the trial fails to prove the drink can slow the progress of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Dr Doug Brown, director of Research at Alzheimer’s Society, said: “This trial of Souvenaid did not meet the success criteria that would be needed for developing new drugs so we cannot be confident of the drink’s benefits. We certainly can’t conclude that the drink slows progression of Alzheimer’s disease.”

The latest clinical trial involved 311 people with mild memory problems that are not severe enough for them to be diagnosed with dementia. Half of the people on the trial took the drink, containing the active ingredient Fortasyn Connect, once a day for two years. The other half took a drink with the same calorie content but without the active ingredient.

When the researchers analysed the trial’s results, there was no difference in the number of people who progressed from mild cognitive impairment to dementia during the study.

However, they did see some benefits in other tests, including less brain shrinkage and better performance on some cognitive tests.

Dr Doug Brown added: “Although there was less cognitive decline in people taking the daily drink over two years, the same number of people still went on to develop dementia as those who had a fake drink every day.

He added: “People who are worried about their memory should not rush out and buy this drink without first talking to their doctor to find out if it could be suitable for them. There are many causes of memory decline, including normal ageing, so it’s important people are investigated for underlying Alzheimer’s disease before taking this medical drink, or any kind of treatment.”

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