Eurice Project LipiDiDiet Finds A Way To Impact Alzheimer’s Disease Before It’s Too Late

Full results from the European LipiDiDiet clinical trial were published online today in The Lancet Neurology. The trial showed that in people with prodromal Alzheimer’s (the pre-dementia stage of this disease), consumption of a once-daily medical nutrition drink, whilst not improving from a neuropsychological point of view in a comparative test group, did result in a significant stabilisation of everyday cognitive and functional performance, as well as reduced brain shrinkage. The medical nutrition drink (called Souvenaid) contains “Fortasyn Connect”, a specific combination of essential fatty acids, vitamins and other nutrients. It is a Food for Special Medical Purpose (FSMP), clinically proven for the dietary management of early Alzheimer’s disease.

The pioneering clinical trial is part of a large research project funded under the 7th EU Framework Programme and involved 311 patients across 11 sites in four countries (Finland, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden). The trial involved patients with prodromal Alzheimer’s (often referred to as Mild Cognitive Impairment). Patients were randomised to receive either the nutritional intervention or an iso-caloric control drink for 24 months.

Professor Hilkka Soininen from the University of Eastern Finland, who headed the clinical trial as part of the LipiDiDiet project, said: “Today's results, published in The Lancet Neurology, are extremely valuable as they bring us closer to understanding the impact of nutritional interventions on prodromal Alzheimer’s, which we are now better at diagnosing but unable to treat due to a lack of approved pharmaceutical options. The LipiDiDiet study illustrates that this nutritional intervention can help to conserve brain tissue and also memory and patients' ability to perform everyday tasks – possibly the most troubling aspects of the disease.”

The LipiDiDiet trial is now the third clinical trial on this nutritional intervention to show favourable effects on memory performance.

Professor Tobias Hartmann, the project’s coordinator, said: “While this nutritional intervention is not a cure for Alzheimer’s, it effectively shows that the earlier in the disease process we intervene, the greater the advantage for the patient. Importantly, reduced atrophy in the patient’s brain shows that the benefit extends beyond symptomatic effects, something never before achieved."

As management partner Eurice has been supporting the LipiDiDiet consortium in the successful implementation of the project as well as in the dissemination and exploitation of the project results. Eurice would like to take this opportunity to warmly congratulate the consortium to this great success and thanks all partners for the intensive and fruitful collaboration over a period of more than seven years.

For further information on the European LipiDiDiet study and consortium, please visit the project website.