Does Prevagen work for dementia?
Prevagen is a memory supplement advertised by Quincy Bioscience as an effective treatment for mild cognitive impairment. As I explained in my review of Prevagen, Quincy Bioscience go to great lengths to make it clear that Prevagen is a dietary supplement product; they say it cannot treat any illnesses or disease, just “mild cognitive impairment” and age-related cognitive decline.
However, I constantly receive questions from people about Prevagen’s ability to treat dementia.
While they are careful to stay within the limits of the law and avoid FDA regulation, this is exactly what Quincy Bioscience wanted to achieve with their “deceptive advertising” (to use the words of the FTC in their lawsuit against the company).
Quincy Bioscience are clearly presenting Prevagen as a kind of quasi-pharmaceutical product. Cognitive impairment is a clinically diagnosable condition, and the supplement company is insinuating that Prevagen is a viable treatment for it. So why not related conditions? That is, at least, what they want you to assume. They want to insinuate that Prevagen can do more than help with mild memory loss.
That’s why I get so many questions about Prevagn and dementia.
Can Prevagen treat dementia?
Does Prevagen work on people with Alzheimer’s?
Is this nootropic supplement suitable for people with age-related cognitive decline?
Let’s revisit the formula and find out together.
What is in Prevagen?
Prevagen only contains one active ingredient (besides the pointless vitamin D), and that’s a substance called apoaequorin.
As we’ve written about in detail, apoaequorin is a protein obtained from a specific species of jellyfish. more precisely, apoaequorin is a photoprotein which produces the bioluminescence associated with certain marine animals, including said jellyfish species.
What does apoaequorin do?
Despite the grand claims made by Quincy Bioscience, apoaequorin has never been found to do anything for cognitive function; at least not in independent clinical trials. The only “evidence” supporting the use of apoaequorin are “studies” published as PDFs by Quincy Bioscience on their own website.
This is not scientific evidence!
To qualify as evidence, said trials need to be repeatable, falsifiable, and carried out under third-party scrutiny.
Even if the “clinical trials” published by Quincy Bioscience were valid, I still would not call prevagen an effective memory supplement.
The best-responding group only displayed a 3% improvement in memory function after day 60. To make the results as dramatic as possible, Quincy Bioscience grouped participants together after the trial, massaging the data to find correlations.
Can Prevagen help with dementia?
So can Prevagen really help with memory loss caused by conditions such as dementia or Alzheimer’s?
Of course it can’t!
As I explained above, Prevagen’s only active ingredient has never been found to improve memory function by indpendent clinical trial.
The FTC is actually suing Quincy Bioscience over their claims that Prevagen can improve memory; according to the FTC lawsuit, these claims are misleading as the company’s own trials didn’t find that trend. Quincy Bioscience are misrepresenting the data!
Of course, Quincy Bioscience never claims that Prevagn can treat dementia, Alzheimer’s or any other serious clinical condition.
However, the company does clearly try to position their product to appear like a pharmaceutical drug. They say it is “pharmacist recommended”, and that it can treat “mild cognitive impairment”, itself a clinically diagnosable condition.
I need to be clear here that no nootropics can treat dementia. The pharmaceutical industry is pouring billions of dollars into finding a viable treatment for memory loss, be it caused by old age, dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease. Their tiop minds are working hard on the problem and they’ve not cracked it yet.
If a supplement company comes along and tells you they have th ecure for $30 a bottle, they’re lying!
In summary: Does Prevagen work for dementia?
No, Prevagen does not work for dementia. Quincy Bioscience’s own study asserted that “Prevagen demonstrated the ability to improve aspects of cognitive function in older participants with either normal cognitive aging or very mild impairment”. Even these claims were deemed false by the FTC.
Paul Tardner is the Head Writer at IJEST.org. Paul is a former academic and research scientist. He now dedicates his time to his own research into nootropics, with a particular focus on cognitive enhancement in old age. You can learn more about Paul from his profile page.