Dr Alan Howard and Professor John Nolan began working together in 2009, initially looking into the benefits to visual health from nutritional supplements containing the three carotenoids, Lutein, Zeaxanthin and Meso-Zeaxanthin. This led to the Howard Foundation supporting a number of clinical trials and associated research at the Nutrition Research Centre Ireland (NRCI) at which Professor Nolan is the Principal Investigator. The full list of papers resulting from the research supported by the Foundation is given on the Publications page.
By 2014 the research had moved on to looking at brain as well as visual health. The first paper from the Carotenoids and Age-Related Dementia Study (CARDS-1) was published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. This showed that patients with Alzheimer’s disease are deficient in carotenoids and have poorer vision when compared to age-matched controls. In 2018, results from the Central Retinal Enrichment Supplementation Trials (CREST) showed, for the first time, that supplementation with the 3 carotenoids in the healthy population improves cognitive function by improving memory.
Further research by Professor Nolan and his team led to the inclusion of omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) with the 3 carotenoids into new studies supported by the Howard Foundation. CARDS-3 was published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease in 2018 and indicated that combining the carotenoids with omega-3 fatty acids is beneficial for patients with Alzheimer’s disease. This led to the setting up of a major new trial named Re-MIND (Memory Investigation with Nutrition for Dementia). Patients with mild-moderate Alzheimer’s disease consumed a daily supplement for 12 months in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial.
In October 2022, the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease will publish the results of the Re-MIND trial. This trial has shown that patients with Alzheimer’s disease who consume a nutritional supplement containing fish oil, carotenoids and vitamin E benefit from targeted nutritional intervention. The main outcomes included slower rates of disease progression and greater improvements in mood and memory (as reported by the carers) of patients receiving the active intervention. The Editor-In-Chief, Prof George Perry, says “Re-MIND adds strong clinical evidence to the growing body of data supporting a key role for nutrition in reducing the incidence and slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease with supplements.”
The Re-MIND trial was led by Professor John Nolan and Dr Rebecca Power from the NRCI, working with Prof Ríona Mulcahy, Consultant Physician in General and Geriatric Medicine at University Hospital Waterford. The supplements used in the trial were supplied by Industrial Organica (IOSA) of Mexico and are commercially available as ReMind™ in Europe and the UK and Memory Health® in the USA.
Click here to read the press release from the South East Technological University in Ireland of which the NRCI is a part.
Click here to read the pre-press online publication of the paper which will be published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease Volume (90) Issue (1) on 25 October. DOI: 10.3233/JAD-220556