An Alzheimers diagnosis can seem hopelessa sign you are on a decline that will never reverse. But at the University of Arizona they have hope that they can rebuild an Alzheimers brain.

Dr. Roberta Brinton remembers the moment she dedicated herself to understanding and curing Alzheimers.

A doctor had been telling her about her professional life. But that same doctor had Alzheimer’s.

Dr. Brinton walked her back to her hospital room.

I closed the door, and I waited 30 seconds. I knocked on the door and asked and went in. And I asked Dr. Anspacher, do you remember me? And she was so lovely. She said, I’m so sorry, should I? She could not remember me for 30 seconds. And I’ve remembered her for 30 years.

Now after many long years Brinton and her colleagues at the University of Arizonas Center for Innovation in Brain Science are closing in on a treatment to actually reverse Alzheimer’s.

Instead of concentrating only on plaque build ups clogging the brain, their approach considers the chemistry that powers our brains.

A normal brain runs on glucose, a simple sugar. Sugar imbalances like diabetes can make the brain metabolize fats for its energy including the white matter that helps nerves function.

Brinton says, One of the things that happens is that if the brain is utilizing its white matter for fuel, then that generates kind of a debris from that process. And then that develops and activates neuro inflammation.

Brinton says metabolism changes that come with menopause can trigger glucose disruptions and raise the Alzheimer’s risk for women. Her program has developed a plant-based hormone replacement designed to preserve brain function without the increased breast cancer risk associated with other hormone replacement therapy.

UA is leading tests of a different drug called Allopregnanolone that slowed brain degeneration and in some cases reversed it. It also preserved or improved the white matter that helps your brain function.

Brinton says the brain-focused hormone replacement could be out of testing and available in one or two years.

The potential Alzheimers reversal drug will face longer testing. You may qualify to join testing for either drug by contacting UAs Center for Innovation in Brain Science.