WASHINGTON, July 7 /PRNewswire/ -- A new clinical trial shows that drinking apple juice significantly improved mood and behavior among a group of patients diagnosed with moderate-to-severe Alzheimer's disease (AD). This latest research supports a growing body of evidence exploring the role of apples and apple products (like 100% apple juice) in delaying the onset and progression of AD.
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The research, published in the June 2010 issue of the American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias, studied 21 patients between the ages of 72 to 93, residing in two Massachusetts nursing homes. Subjects received two, 4-ounce servings of apple juice daily for one month.
Dr. Thomas Shea and colleagues from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell report that patients receiving the apple juice showed significant changes in mood and behavior. This was assessed by a 12-item questionnaire measuring the effect that abnormal behavior has on a patients' well-being. Improvements in anxiety, apathy, agitation, depression and delusion were most notable. Caregivers did not report changes in the patients' cognitive performance or ability to perform day-to-day functions.
"In addition to changes in memory, there's a distinct change in mood that often accompanies Alzheimer's disease," explains Dr. Shea. "We found that people receiving apple juice displayed fewer of the associated behavioral symptoms. They were calmer, less agitated, and at the end of the day, they had a better quality of life."
Dr. Shea and his research team have been studying the beneficial effects of apple products on improving brain health for over a decade. Their research suggests that good nutrition can help support an aging brain by protecting brain tissue from detrimental oxidative damage.
Although it remains unclear which components of apples are responsible for the observed benefits, the researchers believe supplementation with as little as one, 8-ounce glass of apple juice per day may indicate a simple and cost-effective strategy to help maintain mood in Alzheimer's patients.
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SOURCE Synaptic Digital; APREC