- With Mayo Clinic clinical neuropsychologist
Glenn Smith, Ph.D.read biographyclose window
Glenn Smith, Ph.D.Glenn Smith, Ph.D.
Dr. Glenn Smith is a board-certified clinical neuropsychologist who specializes in Alzheimer's disease.
Dr. Smith, a Lincoln, Neb., native, has been with Mayo Clinic since 1990 and works with neurologists, psychiatrists, internists, social workers and nurses involved in diagnosing and providing care for people with dementia and their families.
"For Alzheimer's disease, there is currently no cure," he says. "The best "medicine" for patient and family remains education and support. Hopefully, Mayo Clinic's Alzheimer's disease Web resources contribute to compassionate care and understanding for Alzheimer's families."
Dr. Smith is a professor of psychology at College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, a division co-chair in the Department of Psychiatry and Psychology, and principal investigator of the Mayo Alzheimer's Disease Research Center Education and Information Transfer Core. He is past president of the American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology and the Clinical Neuropsychology Division of the American Psychological Association.
Risk factors (2)
- Alzheimer's: Can a head injury increase my risk?
- Oophorectomy (ovary removal): A risk factor for dementia?
- Sundowning: Late-day confusion
Tests and diagnosis (2)
- Rapidly progressing Alzheimer's: Something else?
- Alzheimer's test: Detection at the earliest stages
- Phantosmia: What causes olfactory hallucinations?
Treatments and drugs (3)
- Alzheimer's nose spray: New Alzheimer's treatment?
- Folic acid supplements: Can they slow cognitive decline?
- Vitamin B-12: Can it improve memory in Alzheimer's?
Lifestyle and home remedies (2)
- Music and Alzheimer's: Can it help?
- Alzheimer's: Can a Mediterranean diet lower my risk?
Alternative medicine (5)
- Huperzine A: Can it treat Alzheimer's?
- Axona: Medical food to treat Alzheimer's
- Phosphatidylserine supplements: Can they improve memory?
- see all in Alternative medicine
Coping and support (1)
- Elder care for Alzheimer's: Choosing a provider
- Alzheimer's prevention: Does it exist?
- Alzheimer's disease: Can exercise prevent memory loss?
- Benefits of being bilingual: Delay Alzheimer's?
Axona: Medical food to treat Alzheimer's
I've heard about an Alzheimer's supplement called Axona. What does it do, and can it really treat Alzheimer's?
from Glenn Smith, Ph.D.
Axona is a prescription dietary supplement that claims to target the nutritional needs of people with Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimer's is thought to hinder the brain's ability to break down glucose. According to Axona's marketing materials, the supplement provides an alternative energy source that the brain can use instead of glucose.
It's not clear what benefits, if any, Axona provides. A small study, funded by the manufacturers of the product, found that memory and cognition improved for people with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease. However, more studies are needed to determine its safety and effectiveness.
Axona is marketed as a medical food. Medical foods are dietary supplements that help manage a disease or condition that causes nutritional deficiencies. The Alzheimer's Association, however, disputes the notion that Alzheimer's disease causes nutritional deficiencies and requires a medical food. Medical foods are given only under the supervision of a doctor. But the Food and Drug Administration doesn't approve medical foods, nor does it test medical foods for safety or effectiveness.
Until more is known, the Alzheimer's Association doesn't recommend the use of medical foods, including Axona, for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.Next question
Phosphatidylserine supplements: Can they improve memory?
- Is it really approved? U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm153239.htm. Accessed May 30, 2011.
- Medical food. Alzheimer's Association. http://www.alz.org/national/documents/statements_medicalfoods.pdf. Accessed May 30, 2011.
- Koenigsberg RA, et al. Neuroimaging. In: Goetz CG. Textbook of Clinical Neurology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:437.
- Frequently asked questions. Accera Inc. http://about-axona.com/faq.html. Accessed May 30, 2011.
- Alternative treatments. Alzheimer's Association. http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_alternative_treatments.asp#Caprylic_Acid. Accessed May 3, 2011.
- Howland RH. Drug therapies for cognitive impairment and dementia. Journal of Psychosocial Nursing and Mental Health Services. 2010;48:11.
- Roman MW. Axona (Accera Inc): A new medical food therapy for persons with Alzheimer's disease. Issues in Mental Health Nursing. 2010;31:435.