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A new mixture of food-based nutrients could delay the impact of Alzheimer's disease.

At this point, there are few people who haven't been affected by Alzheimer's disease in one form or another. The Alzheimer's Association reports that roughly one in eight elderly Americans have been diagnosed with the degenerative condition. Earlier this month, MIT announced the results of a promising study that monitored the effects of a specific combination of nutrients on the most commonly known side effect of the disease – memory loss.

The study involved the regular administration of a supplement concocted by Richard Wurtman, who is currently the Cecil H. Green Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the university. The mixture includes uridine, choline and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), each of which can be derived from food.

Wurtman initially used a liquid form of this mixture in a study conducted ten years ago, and found that the combination of these three organic chemicals increased synapse production in the brains of animals. Synapses are key to forming connections between brain cells, so their degradation can severely impact memory retention.

His "nutrient cocktail" was used in a clinical trial including 225 Alzheimer's patients in a 2008 study, and was found to have a positive effect on verbal memory for 40 percent of the individuals who took the supplement daily over the course of three months.

The new study lasted six months, and included 259 subjects. While both the individuals who took the mixture and those who received a placebo saw improvement in verbal memory in the first half of the trial, supplement-takers continued to improve for the remainder of the testing, while the control group's performance declined.

Though it has seen success with patients in the early stages of the disease, the DHA-choline-uridine combination has not produced the same results for individuals who have more severe cases.

While these nutrients can be derived individually from foods including fish, eggs, liver and broccoli, they are also available in supplement form. Click to learn more about DHA and choline products.